Did you know we take around 23,040 breaths every day?

And we don’t even need to think about breathing to do it – certain control centres of the brain put breathing on auto-pilot for us, so we can focus our mental attention on other stuff, like pondering what to have for dinner or solving a complicated mathematical equation…

But back to the breath. The fascinating thing is when we do pay attention to the breath, the ‘rest and digest’ part of the nervous system gets switched ‘on’. This slows down the heart rate and breathing rate, which helps us feel calm and relaxed. Ahhhh….

There are lots of breathing (or pranayama) techniques you can do to ‘turn on the calm’. My favourite is the ‘4 count breath’ because it’s dead easy to remember, simple to do anywhere, anytime, and best of all, it works!
If you’d like to try it too, here’s what you do:

1. Bring your attention to your breath.
2. Inhale to a slow, steady count of 4.
3. Hold the breath for a slow, steady count of 4.
4. Exhale to a slow, steady count of 4.
Simple, right?
That makes one full round. Repeat 4-5 rounds, then release the count and return to your natural breath.
See how you feel. Hopefully a little calmer.
Now back to that tricky maths problem…