How do I breathe to get Calm

How do I breathe to get Calm

Breathing is something that we do naturally and yet so many of us are doing it wrong. Consciously breathing is certainly NOT a high priority on busy people’s
radar. You might not even be aware of your breathe until you are exercising.

I have even read that it is a new age practice. Correct me if I am wrong but breathing is critical to every human being and should be done not just daily
but all the time.

There are circular breathing techniques, counting while you breathe in and holding your breath before exhaling, sleep techniques, the win hof method, transformation
breathing, holotropic breathwork and the list goes on. The apple watch has a circular breathing graphic. Calm app has a breathing button too.

There are so many benefits to discovering how breathing properly can help you. My technique is not to be underestimated as just simply breathing. It is
a technique I have spent 10 years figuring out and is a combination of a number of modalities combined to make it your first aid technique to use when
you are stress, anxious or depressed.

My technique might seem ridiculously easy yet all I have done is made it sound so simple that you will want to do it a few times a day because it feels
so good and the benefits can be felt immediately and long term.

A google search gave me this result “Breathwork is a general term used to describe any type of therapy that utilizes breathing exercises to improve mental,
physical, and spiritual health”

The benefits of doing breathing exercises are:

  • Lower heart rate
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Relieves stress
  • Reduces tension
  • Increased your oxygen supply
  • Relaxing and calming
  • Self healing
  • Emotional stability
  • Brakes the chaos of your thoughts by giving your brain something to focus on other than your worries

I am not claiming any of these health benefits, my intention is to share what works for me and I encourage you to do your own research and discovery.

This is my calm technique:

  • Stop – Stop thinking
  • Breath – Take one deep breathe
  • Smile – Smile one positive thought


To even try and stop thinking is nearly impossible so I shift my focus to my diaphragm.

Place your right hand at the bottom of your left ribs. This anchors your intent to breathe deeply. Your hand anchors positive beliefs.

Breathe in deeply and fill your lungs and stomach. Slow deep breaths.

When you breathe consciously you mind stops racing and overthinking as you are giving it a task to do.

Check out this video where I demonstrate how to use my #calmcue First Aid breathing technique




Do coincidences really exist? Do they?


Do coincidences really exist? Do they?

I don’t think anything is random. Sometimes you have to look back at all the events leading up to the coincidence and realise that everything happened
for a reason.

You made choices along the way to get where you were for the coincidence to show up.

You can analyse it till the cows come home but sometimes you just have to go with the flow and jump at every opportunity that is in front of you.

You might not know where it will take you but if it feels right then jump. Of course, if it feels wrong then that is your warning system and you should

I will share with you a string of events that lead me to having my first article published in a magazine.

It was a normal weekend towards the end of last year and I was flicking through a local magazine, you know the general, what happening around town magazine
that gets thrown on your driveway. I was sitting in bed having a coffee and wondering what to do and also relishing the fact that there was nothing
scheduled, no where to be, no sporting event to run the kids to etc. You know the joys of being a parent and some weekends it’s unrelenting.

I saw an ad for the mind, body, spirit festival and it happened to be on today. My husband said I should go. You see I wasn’t feeling in a happy place
so it was probably a message of ‘go and enjoy yourself’ mixed with ‘I know you will be happier when you get back after a few hours away’.

The decision was made in the spur of the moment and to be honest I probably could not race out the house quick enough for some ‘me’ time. The festival
was only a few minutes away which was also an added bonus.

Within 5 minutes of arriving there was a guided meditation starting. My first reaction was that I wanted to jump in and see the festival, all the stalls
and soak up the atmosphere.

There was something about the way the lady at the front desk told me about the meditation and I made the decision that it was probably best for me to relax,
find some calm and clear my thoughts. Half an hour later my energy had completely changed and I was not only calm but probably the calmest I had been
in weeks.

I wandered around the brightly coloured stall, sampled the wonderful food, smelt the incense and plucked up the courage to talk about my second book Free
to be me that I was days away from finished.

At one of the stalls I met Sharon Rowland, the editor of the Oddities e-Club Magazine. I mentioned my book Free to be me and she offered to review it.
I was over the moon. It still took me a further couple of months before the book was ready for release but I remembered to send it to Sharon.

Little did I know that I would be invited to write an article for the magazine and contribute more stories.

I am pleased to share with you the latest edition for you to check out https://www.magloft.com/app/oddities and their website www.odditieseclub.com

So had I not read the local magazine, or mentioned the festival, or been pushed (in a loving way) to go, or talked to Sharon, then this would never have
happened. So you decide, do coincidences really exist or was this just a string of events that lead me to the right place at the right time? 


Tips to Calm Down and De-Stress with Calming Music

Tips to Calm Down and De-Stress with Calming Music

I was inspired to write this based on my experience yesterday. After yet another terrible night’s sleep I found myself wandering round in a daze and my
head was spinning with confusion. Most of the time I sleep ok now that I have a few strategies in place and incase you haven’t read it here is my blog
on how I cured my insomnia.

I used to sleep well until a few years ago I suffered under a huge amount of stress and despite the stress being over it still plagues me. It has taken
me years to reflect on why, how and what I am doing to self-sabotage myself with my sleep patterns.

My main cause is over thinking which I am sure most of you can relate to. I will wake in the early hours and start thinking of an unresolved issue, awkward
conversation or what I have to do today. It’s just plain exhausting and after a few nights of restless sleep it really catches up on me and I am beyond

One strategy that works for me is chanting. There are so many sayings to chant that I definitely don’t want to overwhelm you but share some of my favourites.
Some of these will resonate with you right away and others will probably send your brain into more chaos. So songs you like to listen to over and over
again and some you only like when you are in a certain mental state.

For example calming music is of course awesome for calming you, however, when you are inspired and in flow and have a deadline to meet you will probably
want very upbeat lively music. Of course you would not listen to loud beating wake up music just before you go to sleep. The same is true first thing
in the morning, the last music you would pick would be sad slow sleepy music when you are getting ready for work because it would probably make you
want to jump right back into bed and not face the day.

My solution yesterday to my foggy brain was to sit quietly and ‘try’ and meditate. I say try because I have learnt to recognise that when I am in this state it is almost impossible to stop thinking and
actually get out of my head. My to-do-list seems to grow 10 fold when I am in the chaos state and the more I try and relax the more I want to add to
my list. So my meditation went something like this:

  • Find a quiet warm spot where I was not going to be disturbed for half
    an hour.
  • Set an alarm for the desired time and that allows my brain to relax a little knowing that I am giving myself this precious time and also that I will
    still have plenty of time to get up and keep going about my day.
  • Have a pen and paper handy and right in front of me. When I have an idea or remember more to add to my to-do-list I can scribble it down and this then
    allows me to know I won’t forget it and therefore I can put it out of my mind for now.
  • Problems keep arising when I am in this state and I don’t get cross with myself which causes more stress and confusion. I allow the thoughts to rise,
    write it down and then send the thought floating away in a pink balloon.
  • Listen to chanting music.

The biggest tip and trick I really want to share with you is how I calm my monkey mind down with chanting.

If you are an A-type personality like me then just doing one task at a time if not enough. I just can’t do it. Trying to meditate and only focus on my
breathing gives my mind plenty of opportunity to get bored and wander off back onto the track of all my chaos. Just telling myself to stop thinking
is impossible!

Chanting gives my mind something to do. Breathing deeply gives my body something to do. When I sync my chants to my breathing and another key point I want
to share is that I breathe into my heart. This is one of the most powerful tips you can do. Try it… When you brain waves and heart energy is
connected you will find an inner calm. The rhythm is like slow dancing to your favourite song, it is effortless to slowly sway in time to the beat
of the music and it is very relaxing and calming.

There are times I really love guided meditations and yet as I said before sometimes it’s the wrong time of the day and I get frustrated listening and it
is not resonating with me. Other times I only want music with no words at all and other times white noise and nature soothe me.

In summary

Now that I am familiar with these chants I will repeat one phrase over and over in the early hours of the morning and now I go back to sleep within minutes.
Without these chants I would lie awake for hours as I just could not turn my brain off. I don’t get upset with myself for waking, I just breathe and

  • Try all different ways to relax before you go to bed
  • Vary the music and chants you listen to depending on your mood and the time of the day
  • Learn to listen to your body and sync your brain and heart especially at 4am and allow yourself to relax
  • BREATHE deeply into your heart and sync your breathing to your heart beat
  • Chant and keep the monkey mind just busy enough and this stops the endless flow of chronic overthinking 


To get you started here is a list of my favourite chanting music.

My Pinterest board: Chanting Om Music

6 hours – Tibetan bowls – here is the you tube

3 hours – Nam Myoho Renge Kyo – here is the you tube link

2 hours – 528 Hz Heart Chakra Balance and Emotional Stability– here is the
you tube link

1 hour – Om Kleem – here is the you tube link

30 mins – Om mani padme hum – here is the you tube link


Finding Your Inner Calm With Art

Finding Your Inner Calm With Art 

I wanted to share this beautiful guest post from Sarah at A Cat Like Curiosity and how she uses her Art to find balance and calm in her life and how you can tap into your own creativity to find Calm and Conquer your own chaos.
I also had the wonderful opportunity to guest blog on her site and here is my article, check it out.

I am a real devotee of calm. I try to invite as much of it as I can into my life. I am absolutely the opposite of a drama queen!

Sometimes though, our little inner sanctum of calm is disturbed. Maybe our friends or family members need help with a difficult situation. Maybe we’re
invited out to a social event that turns a little too raucous or developes into arguments and fights.

It’s not always possible to avoid drama altogether.

But we can choose how we respond to drama in our lives.

I choose to keep calm and craft on!

Here are my favourite things to do when things seem out of balance and I’m craving calm:

1. Art journalling
I have a small journal I use for daily doodles and some larger ones I use to create and experiement with different mixed media techniques. I love working
in these as they are total play spaces. They are a chance for me to let my inner child out to play. I always feel calmer after I’ve let myself create.
2. Collaging on canvas
If I am feeling totally stuck, often a bit of collaging helps get me unstuck. The simple act of cutting and sticking is meditative in it’s own way. It’s
a simple and repetitive task that helps you unwind. The papers you collage down also give you all sorts of ideas for paint colours and you suddenly
find you’re off creating a new canvas without a care in the world!
3. Playing around with paint
I love to just splash paint around! Experimenting with different colour combinations, different ways of making marks on the canvas and letting myself be
just completely free is great fun! Even if I cover it all up at the end I know I will have learned something and I will have had pure fun in doing

The simple act of taking time out for yourself is the key really. By sitting down in your painting space you are affirming to your soul self that you are
important enough to warrant this time, this attention. And this is powerful.

If you’d like some help with getting started creatively feel free to check out my website acatlikecuriosity.com

I have a gorgeous (and free!) Curious Library that is full of mini ECourses, EBooks and Creative Challenges galore! I also have lots of arty ECourses and
my Curiously Gorgeous Sisterhood for those of you who want to create calm with creativity regularly.

Have a wonderful day lovelies!

Sarah Leonard
Auric Artist and Creativity Coach


I hope you enjoyed this blog and please email me directly to guest blog enquiries xo