Tag Archives: stress

Reduce Stress with the ‘7/11’ Breathing Technique!

I’ve been using a particular deep breathing technique for several years now which I was taught when training to become a Cognitive Hypnotherapist with The Quest Institute.  As well helping me stay calm and reducing my levels of stress in the past when I went through some major changes, many of my clients have reported back to me how useful they find it.  In fact, only last week a client mentioned how it had helped her when she unexpectedly had to go into hospital.  She described how she felt more in control because of it.  Its really simple but can be very effective in many situations.  It can help you to feel more in control, regain a sense of calm, reduce stress and anxiety and also help with panic attacks.  In addition, it can help deal with any cravings from addictions such as stopping smoking and obsessive behaviour compulsions.

Its called the ‘7/11’ breathing technique and the way it works is that it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) which controls activities in the body associated with rest and relaxation. These include eating, sleeping, digesting food and making love – basically the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system associated with the fight/flight mechanism!   This breathing technique focuses on the out breath and it is the out breath that stimulates the PSNS.

How to breathe for calm:

1. First of all be aware that you are going to focus on breathing from deep down in your abdomen so imagine there is a balloon in your stomach and you are going to inflate it. You could put your hands on your lower abdomen while you do this initially and aim to  keep your chest and shoulders fairly still. If you find yourself inflating your chest and/or lifting your shoulders then stop and start again focusing just on inflating your lower abdomen.

2. Take a breath in through your nose counting to seven (not seconds just counting) as you breath in.

3. Breath out through your mouth whilst counting to 11.

4. Do this for 5-10 minutes until you feel calm or calmer!

Sometimes just doing this for 10 out breaths can get you back to feeling in control!  If you find counting to 7/11 is difficult for any reason then try 5/8 or 3/5 (whatever works best for you) as long as you make the out breath longer than the in breath.

Breathing effectively can reduce your stress levels

A final note about breathing that is worth mentioning is that people who are stressed generally take shallow, rapid breaths from high up in their chest.  This means that they may not be breathing in enough oxygen or eliminating enough carbon dioxide therefore upsetting the delicate balance of the body and contributing to feelings of tension.   This is in contrast to people who are generally relaxed and laid back – their breathing patterns tend to be slow and deep!  Practising this technique regularly will get you in touch with more effective breathing which can have many benefits including a reduction in your stress levels.

If you haven’t used this technique before then give it a go and let me know how you get on!


Adele Richmond
Cognitive Hypnotherapy in Cambridge & Huntingdon
Tel: 07703 211449
email: adele@adelerichmnd.com



*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

National Stress Awareness Day

One of the most common issues that people come to see me about is anxiety and stress and so with November 2nd being National Stress Awareness Day it gives us the opportunity to consider what elements of our life might be causing us unhealthy levels of stress and what steps we can take to help reduce them.

Autumn is usually a busy time in the year and in the weeks leading up to Christmas many people often begin to feel anxious as they juggle the demands of work, family life and the build up to the festive season. For some people Christmas is a daunting prospect – perhaps family tensions to deal with or feeling obliged to buy Christmas presents that you can’t afford. For others, the demands of work lead to a build up of stress and an inability to relax and switch off.

How can we stay calm and focused when it often seems as though there are just not enough hours in the day and the list of things to do seems to get longer by the minute? How can we switch off, unwind and not constantly succumb to either other people’s agendas or the notion that unless we are thinking and worrying about something, it might suddenly creep up and devour us like a monster from the shadows.

When we become stressed or anxious our brains will often focus on what we don’t want instead of what we do want but doing this creates more of what we don’t want. Most anxiety is future focused. We worry about what might happen and envisage all kinds of nasty scenarios. Just the process of imagining something we perceive as stressful puts us in a state of high alert even though nothing has actually happened! Seems a bit crazy doesn’t it that humans do this but it’s all linked to ensuring our survival.

Human beings are always looking to make sense of their environment, behaviour and any events that happen and language is a tool that we use to describe our world and give shape to the meaning that we imbue from situations. One of the ways that we attach meaning to events is through our brain’s ability to hunt for patterns. From man’s first appearance on the planet they had to learn to recognise patterns that related to survival such as food, shelter and sex. However, one of the main ways that we try to predict the future is to use our knowledge based on past experiences. The problem with this is that a tendency to anxiety, as well as many fears and phobias, is usually created in childhood when our brains didn’t have the ability to process information properly in the way that an adult would.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy and NLP can help the brain make sense of issues and emotions that are rooted in the past but which are causing us problems in the present. Whenever an event happens it gets registered by our mind/body system and we may not even be aware that we are looking for particular patterns or that our brain is responding to an emotion linked to an event early in life.

I use a variety of techniques, hypnosis being just one of them, which can help you resolve and release issues from the past that may causing you anxiety and stress in the present. I can also teach you techniques to help you learn to feel calm and in control at will. If you would like to find out more about how Cognitive Hypnotherapy could help you then give me a call on 07703 211449.

Adele Richmond
Cognitive Hypnotherapy & NLP
Tel: 07703 211449
Email: arichmond@talktalk.net

*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.