> Skip to content

Article  •  30 January 2017


Pause, breathe, relax

Chaos to Calm: breathing exercises to help you take control with confidence.

‘A great analogy we use with our clients to encourage them to work on their breathing is a glass of muddy water,’ write expert life coaches Shannah Kennedy and Lyndall Mitchell in their book Chaos to Calm. ‘When you allow it time to set­tle and be still, the sediment all sinks to the bottom and you have clear water. By taking the time to reset your breathing throughout the day you allow the mud of your mind to settle, giving yourself a pause and ena­bling clear, calm, and confident thoughts to flow.’

Straight from the pages of Chaos to Calm, below Kennedy and Mitchell offer two quick, effective methods for hitting ‘reset’ on your day.

The fastest way to start relaxing is to consciously sigh. It reverses almost all the signs of tense breathing. The big in-breath opens the tight chest muscles. The most time-efficient meditation you can do is called ‘the three sighs’. It takes about twenty seconds and is a classical spot medita­tion that is versatile and portable.



Put your left hand on your belly and your right hand on your chest.

Take three slow, deep breaths.

Feel your left hand rise and fall, and sigh on the exhalation. (There should be hardly any movement in your right hand as you breathe.)

Lengthen and align your spine to allow your lungs to fill with oxygen.

Breathe in deeply, and this time sigh on the out-breath.

Take another deep breath in and sigh.


Breathe naturally.

Take a deep breath and bring your awareness back to the present.

Feel what it feels like to be breathing using your full lung capacity.


Take some long, slow, deep breaths.

As you breathe in feel your belly rise, and as you breathe out, feel your belly fall.

Now take your awareness to your shoulders and with every out-breath, allow your shoulders to relax, releasing any tension.

Move your awareness to your jaw and facial muscles and with every out-breath allow your jaw and facial muscles to soften and relax.


These are simple techniques that are portable and easy to use. The breath connects you back to your true, authentic self. It assists in slow­ing down the engine of your brain so you can take some control and step off the treadmill of life for a moment.

Deep breathing is a great way to stay calm and focused during the day. It’s all about the small steps to success – one deep breath is better than none. Take a pause during the day and integrate the breathing trigger that works best for you.

Chaos to Calm Shannah Kennedy, Lyndall Mitchell

Clear your path to success and wellbeing.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Create your future map

Get the ball rolling towards a future that excites you.

QUIZ: Which Jane Austen novel do you belong in?

As Austen fans, we often imagine ourselves living between the pages of our favourite stories. With the help of this quiz, you can find out which book you'd be transported to.

QUIZ: Which Taylor Jenkins Reid book should you read?

If you're a fan of contemporary fiction with characters that leap off the page, this quiz is for you.

If you liked his TED talk, you'll love Nigel Marsh's new book

See what Nigel has to say about his books, podcast, TED talk and new book. Smart, Stupid and Sixty comes out this month, so get ready for more insight from the author.

Meet the characters from The Thursday Murder Club

Get ready for more antics and adventures from the third book in the Thursday Murder Club series. Refresh your memory on the characters from The Thursday Murder Club before The Bullet That Missed comes out this September.

How Kate Forsyth thought to connect history and myth in new novel

An interview with Kate Forsyth about her new novel, The Crimson Thread.

5 Inspirational quotes from Lessons in Chemistry that will stick with you

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus is packed full of wisdom. Check out five of the many inspirational quotes from the book.

One author-illustrator duo talks about working together and staying creative

We chatted with author Michael Wagner and illustrator Tom Jellett to learn about their new book, Dirt by Sea.

Shivaun Plozza on painting, writing routines, and the book that inspired her to become an author

We chatted with Shivaun Plozza to learn more about her new book, A Reluctant Witch's Guide to Magic, and get some insight into her creative process.

Want more enjoyment and better reading? Put down the e-reader, data suggests

In the debate over e-readers versus paper books, scores from PISA 2018 suggest that good-old-fashioned books beat digitised modes of reading.

James Patterson's daily writing routine starts with a 5:30 wake-up

James Patterson’s writing routine pumps out bestsellers. This is what he does.

Bachar Houli on writing a picture book, just in time for Father's Day

We spoke with Bachar Houli about his new children’s book, My Baba is the Best.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles