They say that the secret to life is to just keep breathing. For more than five years, the most popular page on our website has been the detailed description of the 7-11 breathing technique.
In fact I have often wanted to update this simple (but effective!) animation because, strictly speaking, in its current form, it does not accurately convey diaphragmatic breathing – where your belly moves more than your chest or shoulders. But I also know that learning even a simple technique like this can be tough enough for someone new to it, without me adding anything to make it harder. It does the job – and as a busy man I tend to use the “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it” approach.
Child Health Regional Forum
Last night we attended a networking/mini-conference event called the “Child Health Regional Forum” which was held in Bristol. It was attended by a large number of Health Visitors, Nursery Nurses, School Nurses, Community Nurses, Childcare Assistants and others working within the NHS to improve well-being.
We were delighted that our in8 stand received a lot of interest and we gave away a large number of our handy “7-11 breathing” bi-fold business cards. We give these to clients as a handy reminder of the technique – but we also supply them to therapists, GP’s and anyone else who finds them useful.
We also displayed the in8 Cards well-being resource pack and that too was well received – particularly since it resonated very strongly with the excellent talk given by Sarah Darton of the Family Links program about effective parenting approaches. A student Health Visitor in Bristol won a free boxed set of in8 Cards in the prize draw.
Back to the Plot
But to return to the title of this blog – “Playing to your Strengths”. We sometimes describe how we help people by saying that “we use what works with you to fix whatever is wrong”. In other words, changes are more effective when they work with our existing strengths.
But I had never before thought of applying this to our own desire to spread the “needs model of well-being” into the wider community. If people are interested in our 7-11 breathing page – then we can probably assume that it is because they want to reduce symptoms of stress.
Two Ways to Reduce Symptoms of Stress
7-11 breathing is a great way to calm yourself (as well as a brilliant way to fall asleep). But there are other things you can do to effectively reduce stress. Identifying any unmet needs and finding ways to get these needs met in balance will always reduce levels of stress. The in8 Cards are specifically designed to help people to focus on this way of improving their lives.
Since there is so much interest in our 7-11 breathing resources, I have done something today that now seems obvious in retrospect. I have simply added links to the in8 Cards resource web page to the 7-11 breathing web page. Time will tell if this results in these ideas becoming even more widely recognised.