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Silhouette of person sitting looking at the sunset
  • Everyone has a unique breathing pattern:  Find a quiet space to sit or lie down and just notice how you breathe. Where do you hold tension (jaw, throat, shoulders, tummy?) See if you can let your body relax as you exhale. How does this feel?
  • Receiving & letting go:  Notice whether you can soften your belly to receive the inhalation (the belly swells) and feel the release on exhalation as the belly drops…find the pauses at the top and bottom of the breath and enjoy them – no rush!
  • Neck & shoulder release:  Standing or sitting with eyes soft or closed, squeeze your shoulders up to your ears on an inhale, and as you make a long sigh out through the lips, release shoulders (three times)) then gently roll your head from side to side in the same rhythm as your slow breathing.
  • Tight body = tight breath = tight mind: You may catch yourself restricting your breathing when stressed or upset.  Ground your body through your feet, and soften your eyes, jaw, shoulders and belly…. Take three rounds of soft, slow breathing to create a sense of steadiness and ease.
  • Internal meditation: 'Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I calm my mind' (Thich Nhat Hanh)

For more information about breathing and breathlessness, see

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Blog posts

Breathing with your brain

Professor Kyle Pattinson from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences explains how brain scanning could help doctors to personalise treatment for people with chronic breathing disorders.

How does breathlessness make you feel?

Breathlessness can mean lots of different things to different people but it’s something we all experience. Whether it’s running for the bus or running a marathon we’ve all felt the sensation of being out of breath at one time or another.

Your brain the mathematician

Some readers may enjoy maths and others may hate it. But, regardless of your opinion on mathematics, neuroscience research suggests that everyone’s brain is a superb mathematician.