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A Restless Mind - breathing into tranquility

Do you want to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer?

You’re not alone.

It’s a conversation we’re all too familiar with. "I can’t seem to fall asleep. My mind is restless. My thoughts keep me awake. The chatter in my head is relentless…"

We know how to look after our physical hygiene with stretching, strengthening and cleansing, but do we know how to do the same for our mental hygiene?

Here are two effective breathing techniques that will help to stretch, strengthen, and cleanse your monkey mind, whilst lulling you into sleep.

1. Seasonal Breath aka Box Breath

- Take a big, cleansing breath in and out.

- Inhale for a count of 4 seconds.

- Hold for 4 seconds.

- Exhale for a count of 4 seconds.

- Hold for 4 seconds.

- Repeat.

You may wish to increase the counts of each side of the breath incrementally, reaching 10 seconds. Just ensure you are able to maintain each part of the breath without discomfort. If discomfort arises, simply drop down a second or two to make the box breath sustainable.

2. Inhale x1 - Exhale x2

- Take a big, cleansing breath in then out.

- Inhale for a count of 4 seconds.

- Exhale for a count of 6 seconds.

- Continue.

Ensure your exhalations are longer than your inhalations and feel free to extend beyond the count of 4 and 6 seconds.

The power of our breath manipulates our physiology, the brain’s responses to stimuli, and controls our heart rate. By controlling our breath with these two techniques, we’re able to drop out of our fight/flight/freeze state (sympathetic nervous system) and into our rest/digest/restore (parasympathetic nervous system).

Breath is our best friend when we want to find tranquility. Implement these simple yet effective tools into your bedtime routine and you’ll be resting easy in no time.

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