Nic Carter is a well respected Physical Activity Instructor and Life Coach from Suffolk, who started working with the Fit Villages team at Active
Suffolk team last February. Nic has adapted her approach during this time to ensure her clients are staying active. In addition to offering physical
activity support, Nic recommends taking the time out to focus on our mental wellbeing. Try this 7/11 breathing technique she has shared...
" The 7/11 breathing technique works by stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System. This nervous system is the opposite nervous system to the one that
triggers our 'fight or flight' response – the Sympathetic Nervous System. Instead of getting us ready to run or fight, the activation of the
Parasympathetic Nervous System allows our bodies to go into the 'rest and digest' response. This works because by breathing out for longer than breathing
in, the longer out-breath decreases our blood pressure and lowers our heart rate, which in turn reduces our heightened emotional state.
Quite simply, by breathing in through the nose, deep into the diaphragm for a count of 7 and then breathing out through the mouth for a count of 11, our
bodies will begin to relax and our minds will begin to calm. If these timings are too long, it is okay to reduce the counts – as long as the out-breath is
for a longer count than the in-breath.
If possible breathe like this for 5 minutes or longer. However, just repeating the breathing process 10 times will help to lower your immediate anxiety and
stress, and enable you to feel much calmer.
The beauty of this technique is that it can be done from your desk at work (or home as it is now), in the queue within the supermarket, when you are
struggling to sleep – in fact any time of the day or night. Additionally, due to the nature of the counting, your mind will be drawn to concentrate on
this, helping to distract you from the stresses of the day and giving you the chance to bring yourself back into the moment."