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Breathing Space

Here you’ll find all the worksheets and information you need to put into practice what you’ve learned in our Breathing Space class.

 

What we learned

How our thoughts, feelings and actions are linked.

5 Areas

We introduced the "5 Areas" model from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This shows the links between what we think, how we feel both emotionally and physically, and what we do.

Although we can’t just change how we feel, we can use these links to feel more relaxed by changing what we do or the way we think.

 

How it’s not all in the mind

We looked at the ‘fight or flight’ response, to understand what’s happening in our body when we feel nervous, worried or on-edge.

Our body tries to protect us when it senses danger, but it doesn’t always get it right, so the techniques we’ve learned in this class are a way for us to feel more comfortable again.

This response creates those symptoms of anxiety or nervousness we feel, such as:

Racing heart

Dry mouth

Faster, shallower breathing

Headache

Feeling shaky or dizzy

Sweating

Tense muscles

Needing the toilet

Getting a knot in your stomach

Feeling hot or clammy

Losing your appetite

 

 But it’s important to note that many things can cause similar symptoms, so if you’re at all concerned and something feels out of the ordinary, it is always worth checking in with your GP. 

 

How relaxation techniques can help

We learned two relaxation techniques:

But relaxation is very personal, so different techniques work for different people. We selected two popular and easy to use options for this class, but here are some others you might like to try:

 

Mindfulness

We took a brief look at mindfulness, as an introduction to how grounding ourselves in the present moment can help with relaxation.

Mindfulness is not about trying to clear your mind, but about being aware in the present moment. When we notice thoughts popping up, or distractions in our environment, that’s part of the present moment – it’s ok to notice them and acknowledge them.

So the exercise we tried today is a way to dip a toe in the waters of mindfulness and try out taking a more mindful approach to your thoughts. If you’d like to learn more, mindfulness is a big topic so we’ve included a few resources for getting started below.

5 Senses Exercise

Think of your mind like a curious puppy – a puppy wants to explore, and so does your mind. But when the puppy wanders off, we don’t try to hold it still – we gently guide it back to us. So this exercise is all about having the same patience with your own thoughts.

And to give our mind something interesting to stay in the present moment for, we’re going to go through all of our senses noticing what we can see, hear, feel, smell and taste.

Can you notice:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can hear
  • 3 things you can feel
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

 

Resources to explore mindfulness

 

5 Ways to Wellbeing

For more ways to look after yourself, we looked at the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, a set of simple ways to look after our mental wellbeing, just like getting our 5 portions of fruit & veg to look after our physical wellbeing.

These are:

  • Keep learning
  • Connect
  • Take notice
  • Give
  • Be active

Resources: