In the past week, I have completed a Human Given’s Guided Mastery Course. This course taught me techniques that would allow my clients mentally rehearse for success.
As it is exam season across the world, I thought that their 7/11 breathing technique would really help students deal with the pressures of exams. OF course, it would be beneficial to people preparing for interviews or presentations.
As exams approach, one of the easiest ways for students to relax is to concentrate on their own breathing. If you are a student, or someone reading this blog who is under pressure, I suggest that you settle yourself comfortably in a place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit on a chair or lie comfortably with your hands side by side in your lap. Or your arms by your side, or place them on your lap and make sure your legs are uncrossed. Close your eyes. Now concentrate on becoming aware of your feet on the floor, your legs and arms where they are resting or hands touching each other and your back as it is supported by the chair or floor. Let your shoulders relax and take in a really deep breath.
Then make each out breath last longer than your in breath (This is important because the out breath stimulates the body’s natural relaxation response. Changing the pattern of breathing in this way, allows your body to relax). Breathe in to count of 7, then breathe out gently and more slowly to the count of 11. This can be a challenge. If you cannot breathe out that long then breathe in again.
Do this about 10 to 20 times, knowing that you will relax more with each breath.
Concentrate on the counting (try not to let your mind wander off; if it does, just bring it back and don’t judge yourself) and feel the welcome sense of calm flow in. You could say to yourself if you wish, “I breathe in calm and peace. I breathe out all sense of worry”. However, just concentrating on the breath is enough in itself.
Try and become aware of how much less tense you feel, just by relaxing your breathing.
Students could try this before studying, before exams or prior to presentations. 7/11 breathing can get the oxygen flowing all around the body and to the brain bring vital energy back into the body. It also releases students or people from that “fight or flight” mode that causes a freezing of the brain and allows students to tap into their thinking brain.
If you know a student that is anxious, give them these tools. They will be able to access them successfully in any situation that causes them overwhelm. This simple breathing technique will allow them improve their overall performance. They can use this at home, in the car, in the exam hall or on the sports field. Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone well in their exams!