This simple breathing exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of stress and improve the ability to think clearly.

  • Breathe in for a count of 7
  • Breathe out for a count of 11
  • Find a pace that works for you – you might have to count quickly at first!  The point is to breathe OUT for longer than you breathe in.
  • Keep doing this for a few minutes
  • Try to practise it every day
  • Use it if you feel yourself becoming stressed or anxious

7-11 breathing works because lengthening the out-breaths can move us out of ‘fight or flight’ mode by triggering the parasympathetic nervous system, which puts us into a calmer ‘rest and digest’ mode.

Jolene King is Principal Consultant of 246 King Consulting ( She is a trained Occupational Psychologist, experienced Human Resources professional, is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and is trained in mental health conditions and exercise, health and nutrition. She can be reached at