Written by Eugene Farrell
With 30 years’ experience in the UK healthcare arena (both public and private), Eugene provides thought leadership for AXA and is our mental health lead.
Did you know that mindfulness can help to improve your mental and physical wellbeing? From anger and addiction to heart health, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and pain – mindfulness can help you manage a whole host of conditions. You can find out more about some of them in our article 10 health benefits of mindfulness.
To get you started Eugene Farrell, psychological health expert at AXA Health introduces the practice of mindful breathing in this handy guide.
Why practise mindful breathing?
Modern life is full of stress and distractions, and finding the time to stop and think about what's going on around us can be tricky.
"Our body is on autopilot almost all of the time – things happen and we react in an automatic or learned way, without taking any notice," Eugene notes. "We spend lots of time worrying about the past and future, while ignoring the present. Taking time to ourselves is important, as is enjoying each and every moment; when it's gone, it's gone.
"Maintaining a calm mind and body helps us manage life better and deal with what comes along, to take a step back and look at things differently rather than letting our learned reactions take over."
The solution is to take time each day – say 10 minutes during your commute or with your morning cup of tea – to focus on your breathing. This will allow you to calm your mind and body from the daily grind, clearing your head to think differently about a situation. "This allows us to be truly in the moment, and once you start breathing like this, you'll come back to it always – breathing is our anchor!"