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WOW Fitness has created this blog so that we can communicate with you in a fun and personal manner with a variety of subjects from fitness techniques to new products on the market to funny and interesting things we come across in our daily exercise lives. We'll try to keep it light hearted and informative... please feel free to make comments regarding our posts and indeed any thoughts you may have on the subject in discussion. In the meantime we hope you enjoy reading our posts, and be sure to bookmark this page for quick and easy access.
WOW Fitness Team

Friday, 17 June 2016

WHY the Seven Eleven Technique is WOW for Relaxation...


WOW Fact - With mindfulness now all the rage and being a Fitness & Wellbeing Coach I advocate breathing techniques as a way to lessen anxiety and control stress levels, whether we are at work, home or play…

 Breathing techniques are not just 'mind tricks', they produce a bodily response that lowers your anxiety, stress, depression in a very physical way.


Deep breathing techniques all have one thing in common, they work by stimulating what is known as the Parasympathetic Nervous System. You may have heard of the 'fight or flight' response, the Parasympathetic Nervous System is simply the opposite of that ('fight or flight' is the term for the activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System) - instead of getting you ready for action, deep breathing activates a natural bodily response that can be described as 'rest and digest'. Out-breaths decrease your blood pressure, dilate your pupils and slow your heart rate – lowering emotional arousal in the process. 

 

WOW Fact - Practising a breathing technique a few times a day will lower your overall stress levels in the long term.

It's important to realise that it's the out-breaths that stimulate the response, so it stands to reason that a breathing technique with longer out-breaths than in-breaths will be more effective at lowering emotional arousal.

Breathing techniques in which the out-breath is the same length as the in-breath, or during which you focus on your anxious thoughts are generally less effective at quickly lowering the physical symptoms of anxiety, despite being a good way of being mindful or entering into a relaxed state.

Which breathing technique should you use?
The most powerful technique I know is called “7-11” breathing and it has been used for thousands of years throughout the world.

Here is how you do it, and it is as easy as it sounds: 


1 - breathe in for a count of 7.

2 - then breathe out for a count of 11.



Make sure that when you are breathing in, you are doing deep ‘diaphragmatic breathing’ (your diaphragm moves down and pushes your stomach out as you take in a breath) rather than shallower higher lung breathing. If you find that it’s difficult to lengthen your breaths to a count of 11 or 7, then reduce the count to breathing in for 3 and out to 5, or whatever suits you best, as long as the out-breath is longer than the in-breath.


Continue in this way for 5-10 minutes or longer if you have time – and enjoy the calming effect it will have on your mind and body. An added bonus of 7-11 breathing is that the very act of counting to 7 or 11 is a distraction technique, taking your mind off your immediate concerns.


If you are a visual person click on the link and enjoy watching the following short film on how to do the "7-11" breathing technique:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4VNsMqvSkI



In a nutshell, take a deep breath and just enjoy life, tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are…

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