&Breathe: B is for BREATHE

B is for Breathe

As adults in a chaotic and tech-filled world, and as parents even more so, we find it difficult to find time for ourselves throughout the day, even once the little ones have (finally) gone to bed!  Slowing down can be a case of filling our days with less stuff, asking for help and accepting the busy-ness.  But taking a few moments (it really doesn't have to be long) to BREATHE can also be extremely beneficial to your mind and approach to life.

At &Breathe we truly believe in the power of being your best you, in order to be the best parent, the best partner you can.  You can't drink from an empty cup, and you must fill your own cup before others can drink from it!  Self care matters.

Our Resident Happiness Coach, Olivia Horne, talks us through BREATHING; its many benefits and how to take a moment to do it properly.

Go on - #BeYourOptiMUM

Olivia Horne - &Breathe - credit Melly Curtis


Because your breath is with you all the time, and it’s there for so much more than just keeping you alive. There are many physiological benefits of taking a few deep, deliberate breaths every day: lower blood pressure, reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep, better digestion, pain relief and detoxing the body.

Cultivating breath awareness and a breathing practice that fits into your busy life can also help you to feel more alert, more resourceful and more energised. It’s your number one tool for grounding you, calming you down and bringing you back into your body when your mind is racing with parental guilt and worries.

After pregnancy, focused breathing is also a great way to reconnect with your body and improve your self awareness in this new chapter of your life. You can use your breath to help you nurture and nourish your new identity, and appreciate and recharge your body that has worked so hard to grow a life. Plus it gives you a reason to insert a mini pause into your day, which helps all the family wheels turn more smoothly. It’s simple, it’s free, it’s here, and it’s happening now.

For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on Earth.
— Sanskrit proverb


You’re already breathing all the time, so you don’t need to learn anything new. You just need to notice that your breath is here, choose to pay attention to it for a moment, and notice what that feels like.

You can use counting techniques which can help to quieten a busy chattering mind; visualisation techniques which can bring an extra layer of calm as you imagine seeing your breath as a healing white light nourishing your body; or physical techniques as you hold your hands over your belly and feel it rise and fall as you breathe.

And get playful - you can picture balloons and bubbles of all shapes, sizes and colours, filled with positive emotions and resources, entering your body as you breathe in, and filling your world as you breathe out. There’s no right or wrong way to focus on your breathing – just tune in and see what works for you, then notice the sense of grounded calm that it brings you, and if you like how it feels you can choose to do it again tomorrow!

You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.
— Mandy Hale

Try it now

Breathe in for a count of 4 and feel the air as it travels in through your nostrils and fills up your lungs. Then pause at the top just for a few seconds. Then let out a big relieving sigh to the count of 6 on the exhale, feel the tension melt away and pause at the bottom before taking the next breath. There – you’ve set yourself up for a better day in just a few seconds.

Olivia Horne is &Breathe's Resident Happiness Coach, because finding your best you is about the mind as well as the body.  She also offers one-to-one coaching and small group meditation classes in London, find out more here and here.


At &Breathe we believe in Being Your Best You to be at your best for everyone around you.  Our retreats and events allow you the selfcare time you deserve and through this Spring, we're sharing ways to #BeYourOptiMUM - what's yours?
Tag #BeYourOptiMUM and tell us!

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