Active in Redbourn

Good Breathing and Sleep

Improve your mental wellbeing

Breathing is good for you

Breathing is a necessity of life that usually occurs subconsciously. Improper breathing can alter your body’s oxygen exchange, and as a result, can contribute to stress, anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue and other physical and emotional distress.

Practising breathing in a relaxed manner has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Give Breathing a Go:

Find a relaxed, comfortable position, let your breath flow as deeply as comfortable into your belly without forcing it, try breathing in a relaxed manner and count from 1 to 3. Then without pausing or holding your breath, let your breath flow out gently, counting from 1 to 6 again. Try doing this for up to 5 minutes daily.

On-line Wellbeing Workshops

As part of AIR’s coronavirus support the team has sponsored a range of free wellbeing workshops call Live Well with AIR

More tips on Breathing

Would you like to know what you can do to improve the quality of your breathing and be fitter and safer?

Breathe in and out through your nose; that’s what it is for. It cleans, hydrates and warms the air we breathe, plus it adds vital nitric oxide to improve air flow and destroy some unwanted invaders. If nose breathing isn’t easy, just give it a go gently, be kind to yourself and take it slowly, it needs practice and like many others, you may have been a mouth breather for decades.

As you nose breathe, breathe gently, slowly and deeply into the base of your lungs, right down into your belly which you will find moves your diaphragm, massages your internal organs, generating a feeling of relaxation.

Learn to keep your mouth shut when not eating or speaking, most people have no need for more oxygen in their lungs, but we need to trap carbon dioxide to help shift that oxygen into every cell in our body. When you are talking, slow down and leave short gaps where you can nose breathe. The extra benefit is that it also gives the audience time to process what you have said.

You can increase your nitric oxide generation by humming whilst you are nose breathing and creating gaps after your out-breath. It is nature’s way to clean your breath and your airways. With humming and chanting you may even notice tingling/movement in your nasal cavity. Avoid ingesting smoke and vaping.

This information supplied on breathing supplied by Olive Hickmott, Health and Learning Coach

Breath through your nose and feel the benefits

Active In Redbourn self help breathing diagram

Your mouth is designed for eating, speaking and emergency breathing.  Your nose is designed for smelling and breathing.   Breathing through your nose is more relaxing, helps to clean, warm and hydrate the air before it hits your lungs.

Your nose also adds Nitric Oxide to the breath that is proven to improve flow in the airways and blood vessels. In addition, your diaphragm moves up and down as you breath into the bottom of your lungs, which in turn massages your internal organs and aids digestion etc. 

Breathing out through your nose helps to retain sufficient CO2 in your blood vessels to oxygenate every cell in your body, including your muscles. This helps you feel more balanced as you walk and have a positive effect on many health conditions.

 Additional resources are available from:
The New-leaf College Deep Breathing Exercise Course: Take a look to find out more and watch our stress busting guided breathing exercise video!  

A good night's sleep

Sleep is so restorative, and a vital prelude to the following day.  All most people want is to be able to get to sleep, stay asleep and feel good in the morning. It is worth understanding a little more about achieving improved sleep.

This 30 min video gives you lots of tips for a good night’s sleep, including:

  • Sleep cycle
  • Breathing and grounding
  • What do you do when you can’t sleep
  • A short mindfulness meditation

Are you tired of not getting a good night's sleep?  

Good quality sleep is crucial for living a healthy lifestyle, although aspects in life can sometimes prevent you getting a good night’s sleep.

The New Leaf College Sleeping Well course “looks at the different stages of sleep, as well as the physiological and psychological benefits sleep has on functioning. You will also explore different strategies that can be used at home to improve your sleep”.