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Positive Emotional Health & Well-Being, Online 6-part series

This course goes Live in September @ The Sanctuary Wellness, but you can join any time.

The Positive Emotional Health and Well-Being course aims to support you to live a socially, emotionally and mentally healthy life. It covers a range of topics over six videos offering practical and actionable tools and techniques to help you step forward and lead a confident, empowered and balanced life.

1. Free Your Mind

2. Letting go

3. Breaking Free of Negative Thoughts

4. Intuitive Decision-Making: Making choices that are right for you

5. Perfectionism, Success and Failure

6. Combatting Anxiety

Also check out my 6-part online course on Effective Communication.

Learning to Breathe

Have you ever stopped to notice your breath before?

When you get a fright, you inhale and hold your breath. When you get anxious, you take short breaths, not quite big enough to actually fill your lungs and body full of oxygen. When you’re in pain you probably exhale hard but don’t really remember to inhale.

Can you see some patterns relating to the breath? Can you see how important the breath is to control and keep us calm? You don’t in fact have to do anything to exhale, to breathe out, that happens naturally. What we need to concentrate on is the inhalation – the breathing in of oxygen because our body (including our brain) needs it. It sounds obvious and you’re probably thinking, “I breathe all day”, but do you really?

Do you take nice long deep breaths that truly reach your belly and truly open your chest and fill your lungs? If you do, then you’ll be feeling completely relaxed all the time.

Let’s stop here and try.

Lie on the floor if you can, or sit up straight. Put your hand on your belly and breathe in through your nose. Breathe into your belly until it is big, until you feel it expand and your hand rise with it (you may have learned this in a yoga class). Exhale gently through your mouth and let out a long sigh. When you exhale you should feel your hand on your belly drop as the air comes out. Breathe all the way out until you literally can’t exhale any more.

This video will help show you to how to take this deep breath.

https://youtu.be/1iVGYfp8Caw

Now that you know how, let’s add colours to the breath. Think of a colour that you like that makes you feel calm and happy.  Next, close your eyes and picture breathing in fresh oxygen and positive thoughts in this calm, beautiful colour full of love and happiness, all the way until your belly is big. When you exhale, breathe out all your negative thoughts, sadness and bad energy in a dirtier colour of brown or grey or whatever colour it is for you. Inhale love and all the beauty in your life and exhale what you don’t want or need. Try this a few more times.

If you are taking long, deep breaths now, can you feel how much space you actually have inside? More than you realised? Now that is a full breath!

It is not always simple and it does not come easily to everyone. I actually ended up having lessons in how to do this, because I felt like I couldn’t. I found it very stressful and scary to think that I didn’t know how to take a full deep breath until I learned and practiced. As with anything, practice is the key. Once you feel comfortable you can start using this type of breath whenever you feel you need it.

If you have had a stressful day, if you come home upset, if you have an exam coming up or have had a fight with someone, then lie down somewhere quiet and breathe. Start with one or two minutes and work your way up to five or more.

Using this breath when you are upset, angry or confused will help you calm down and bring focus and clarity. To take it one step further, here is another little trick. Before you lay down to practice your breathing, grab a pen and paper and write down whatever is on your mind. Write without trying to understand it all yet, just write all your thoughts or frustrations. This will help clear the chaos of the mind. Then breathe. Practice the breath you just learnt. This combination really helps clear the mind and bring calm.

Step 1:

Write

Step 2:

Breathe.

If nothing else then every night when you jump into bed, take at least three of these deep full breaths. You will feel more calm, and ready for sleep. I still do this every night.

* This breathing technique is part of my book The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens and is taught in class rooms as well as individually. 

Pages

Blog

Teaching ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ to 200 students!

Teaching 200 students 'The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens' - a guidebook on mental health, emotional health and social health.
20 January 2020/by Romi Grossberg

The Recovery Village, US

Sharing information from other organisations and networks about teen mental health. This one is from The Recovery Village, US.
14 December 2019/by Romi Grossberg

‘Teen Mental Health,’ Medium

In psychology terms, adolescence is the developmental stage of identity. Who am I? It is a powerful thing to begin to answer that question as a teen. How many adults can truly answer it?
26 September 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Cultures of Thinking Conference 2019 (& radio podcast interview)

This week I presented at The 7th Annual Cultures of Thinking Conference by way of a 90-minute workshop.
23 August 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Workshopping with teens in Romania

I was invited by my Romanian friend and colleague Ema to run…
1 July 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Is Perfectionism getting in the way?

If perfectionism gets in the way of you completing tasks, whether it be a project, sending off a manuscript, finishing a piece or art work or anything else, then check out my take on perfectionism... and rainbows.
3 April 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Indonesia.

I was on a panel as part of the 3-day Asia Pacific Writers and Translators 10th anniversary conference.
30 October 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Holistic Counselling

Holistic Counselling looks at all of you. It recognises that people are not one-dimensional and that all the different parts that make up a person need to be factored in, to be able to fully understand the person. Holistic Counselling looks at mind, body and spirit.
29 September 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Tips for Journalling

A short four video series to help you journal. For those who have never journalled, have stopped somewhere along your life journey, or are just curious to hear more.
29 September 2017/by Romi Grossberg

THE KEY: Hear what the students had to say

Teaching TEENAGERS about EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is no easy task, but I was up for the challenge.
17 August 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Bitter Sweet

I finally made it to the Maccabiah Games in Israel but it feels bitter sweet.
16 July 2017/by Romi Grossberg

What’s Your Dream?

Do you have a dream? Have you told someone about it?
24 April 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Learning to Breathe

Have you ever stopped to notice your breath before?
When…
31 March 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Tears in Phnom Penh

I never know when the tears will come but I know they are there.
14 January 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Manila.

‘APWT is the largest, longest running, functioning literary network I know of in South East Asia and the Pacific’.
30 October 2016/by Romi Grossberg

“One day I just let go…“

I love what I do!
Last month I held my 'Writing from The…
14 October 2016/by Romi Grossberg

I am a Writer not a Hooper

I often thought if I had I joined in years ago at our weekly hoopjam instead of watching, drinking coffee, juggling, socialising and dancing, maybe I could be good too.
9 September 2016/by Romi Grossberg

Australia – you amaze me!

I planned a 3 week trip to Melbourne as an International guest…
18 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

My Book Launch

The week after I landed back in Thailand, the Tea Temple threw me the most beautiful book launch party.
3 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

My amazing trip to Samui

Once again I was invited by the amazing Anna Sugarman to host my 'Writing From The Source' workshop at her yoga teacher training in Bo Phut.
1 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

Melbourne events in May

I have finally landed in sunny Melbourne (yes the sun is actually…
16 May 2016/by Romi Grossberg

The Bliss Festival

If there is a better way to end the year than the Bliss…
1 January 2016/by Romi Grossberg

‘Stand Up’ Workshop

When the amazing International spoken word artist Fleassy Malay…
8 September 2015/by Romi Grossberg

‘Climbing the Walls,’ Griffith Review

Last year there was a call for submissions for the best new writers in Asia under 40.
11 August 2015/by Romi Grossberg
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About

Author, Counsellor, Writing Therapist & Public Speaker.



– Counselling sessions for adults and teenagers.

– Online and in-person.

– Workshops, courses and curriculums. 

– Mentor of writers and want-to-be writers.

– Public Speaking.


I love what I do.


I have been called a gypsy, a nomad, a hippy, a fairy, a bookworm, a rebel, sporty-spice, crossword junkie and the ‘grass-is-greener’ girl.



Maybe I was all of these things.

I

have been a sports teacher, a photographer, a social worker, a mental health specialist, a drug and alcohol counsellor, a public speaker and a traveller. I was one of those people who was always searching, though I never knew what I was looking for… until now. Living in South East Asia since March 2010, I feel that I have found… well, that I am found. 

Today I practice Holistic Counselling – because ‘holistic’ includes the ‘all of you’ and as unique individuals we need to recognise that our cultural, family, religious, spiritual and societal upbringing influences different aspects of us: the way we think, react, respond, feel and understand the world. My counselling sessions are forward thinking, looking at where are you now? Where are you trying to get to? What is in the way? And how can we make the path clear and easy? 

In sessions I may incorporate talk therapy with writing therapy and breath work and always promise to give you practical and grounded guidance with real life tools and techniques to take away. I work with mental health, emotional health, decision-making and trust, career advice, relationship advice, communication skills, societal issues and more, helping you find your voice and trust yourself.

Writing Mentorship: A journal writer since 1984, I write with ease and flow and teach others how to do the same. I teach self-expression, journaling and flow writing in both group and private sessions. I teach people how to get out of their head, connect with their body, get in touch with their source – their gut, the centre of all emotions. I even invented a word for it in 2015 – gutism.

I work with authors, writers and want-to-be writers at any stage of writing from the brainstorming stage right through – I give advice, tips, tools and techniques (not editing) of books, scripts or writing therapy and journalling. Writing for me is about understanding the process between the head, heart and gut. Writers block is when those three are in conflict.



I have been a volunteer worker since before I probably knew what it meant. It just seemed natural to want to help those less fortunate.

I have volunteered in Israel, Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Australia. I have been a carer in disability homes, an art teacher, a sports manager, a teacher at isolated schools for migrant children, a life skills coach for street kids and a community development worker for the World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

In 2010 I became the Manager of Tiny Toones Cambodia and my whole world changed. My heart got broken in to a thousand pieces and put back together over and over by the slum’s most precious street kids. I sat by their side through drug addiction, family violence, pain, recovery, relapse, slavery, corruption and poverty. They, ‘my kids’ taught me about unconditional love, respect, honour, determination and friendship. They taught me about family when they chose me as their mum, aunty and big sister.

“You should be a writer,” I kept hearing from friends and colleagues. I was a story-teller, definitely. I loved public speaking and have travelled on stages across Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Singapore and even the first ever Tedx Phnom Penh in 2011 and interviewed in newspapers, radio and television including the highly-regarded ABC Australia Network with journalist Kate Arnott.

In November 2012 I went to Laos for my first writers retreat purely because it felt right – even though I was broke and terrified. I don’t remember making any decisions since. Things just happened. Do what you love and the rest will come. I met incredible authors who became mentors and I fell madly in love with the pen. Eventually, I tore myself away from my beloved Cambodian family and moved to a small island in southern Thailand to focus on writing. This is when I truly felt I could call myself an author.

Now I sit in my office (by that I mean on my balcony) looking out in to the jungle, writing and editing. Going to work as a counsellor is only a hop, skip and jump over the hill. Life is beautiful.

Do you what you love …

and the rest will come.

Now, back to my office….


Recent blog posts

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Landing Page 04-2019

Do what you Love …
and the Rest will Come

Romi Grossberg Author Counsellor TEDx presenter Writing Therapist Public Speaker Social Emotional Educator

Romi is a qualified social worker, writing therapist, workshop facilitator and established author.



Author of ‘The 5-Minute Guide to Emotional Intelligence’ and ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’, Romi has been published in numerous forums such as The Huffington Post, Thrive Global and Griffith Review. She is a therapist for adults and teenagers and runs courses and workshops on emotional intelligence, life skills and practical coping strategies, communication, trust, intuition, anxiety, letting go, writing therapy, creative writing and more. She works online and in-person. She has also presented on the TEDx stage.

Writing from The Source, 2021.

The perfect way to start the new year; getting aligned, clear and able to express your desires. Learn how to tune out your noisy, monkey mind and listen to your body. Come back to your true self; your tapped or untapped emotions and creativity.

Professional Development Teacher Training, 2020.

Professional Development Teacher Training on understanding and identifying mental health and emotional well-being in adolescence.

The Key - What I can control v.'s What I cannot control, 2019.

Workshop from my book 'The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens' with 11-12 year olds on 'What I Can control v.'s What I cannot control.'

The Key - Who Am I? 2019.

A workshop for teenagers - learning self awareness strategies to answer the question Who Am I? Based on the activities from my book 'The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens.'

Upcoming Courses

– Online video courses currently available:

Positive Emotional Health & Well-Being.

Effective Communication.

– Professional Development Teacher Training available. Please contact me.

– Free Youtube videos and content on my YT channel and website.

– Individual adult, teen, couples or teen/parent counselling is available ONLINE. Please get in touch via my counselling page.


Articles



‘3 Ways to Step into 2021, Without the Weight of 2020,’ Thrive Global.

2020 felt like a pretty horrible year to most people no doubt. Understandably, we just want to walk (or run!) away from it. As much as we would like to switch off the memories, we can’t. Carrying the feelings, fear or anxiety of the past year into 2021 won’t benefit us as individuals, or as a collective. So how can we prepare for 2021?

‘3 Ways to Step into 2021, Without the Weight of 2020,’ Thrive Global.

2020 felt like a pretty horrible year to most people no doubt. Understandably, we just want to walk (or run!) away from it. As much as we would like to switch off the memories, we can’t. Carrying the feelings, fear or anxiety of the past year into 2021 won’t benefit us as individuals, or as a collective. So how can we prepare for 2021?

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Positive Emotional Health & Well-Being, Online 6-part series

This course goes Live in September @ The Sanctuary Wellness, but you can join any time.

The Positive Emotional Health and Well-Being course aims to support you to live a socially, emotionally and mentally healthy life. It covers a range of topics over six videos offering practical and actionable tools and techniques to help you step forward and lead a confident, empowered and balanced life.

1. Free Your Mind

2. Letting go

3. Breaking Free of Negative Thoughts

4. Intuitive Decision-Making: Making choices that are right for you

5. Perfectionism, Success and Failure

6. Combatting Anxiety

Also check out my 6-part online course on Effective Communication.

Blog

Teaching ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ to 200 students!

Teaching 200 students 'The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens' - a guidebook on mental health, emotional health and social health.
20 January 2020/by Romi Grossberg

The Recovery Village, US

Sharing information from other organisations and networks about teen mental health. This one is from The Recovery Village, US.
14 December 2019/by Romi Grossberg

‘Teen Mental Health,’ Medium

In psychology terms, adolescence is the developmental stage of identity. Who am I? It is a powerful thing to begin to answer that question as a teen. How many adults can truly answer it?
26 September 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Cultures of Thinking Conference 2019 (& radio podcast interview)

This week I presented at The 7th Annual Cultures of Thinking Conference by way of a 90-minute workshop.
23 August 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Workshopping with teens in Romania

I was invited by my Romanian friend and colleague Ema to run…
1 July 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Is Perfectionism getting in the way?

If perfectionism gets in the way of you completing tasks, whether it be a project, sending off a manuscript, finishing a piece or art work or anything else, then check out my take on perfectionism... and rainbows.
3 April 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Indonesia.

I was on a panel as part of the 3-day Asia Pacific Writers and Translators 10th anniversary conference.
30 October 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Holistic Counselling

Holistic Counselling looks at all of you. It recognises that people are not one-dimensional and that all the different parts that make up a person need to be factored in, to be able to fully understand the person. Holistic Counselling looks at mind, body and spirit.
29 September 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Tips for Journalling

A short four video series to help you journal. For those who have never journalled, have stopped somewhere along your life journey, or are just curious to hear more.
29 September 2017/by Romi Grossberg

THE KEY: Hear what the students had to say

Teaching TEENAGERS about EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is no easy task, but I was up for the challenge.
17 August 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Bitter Sweet

I finally made it to the Maccabiah Games in Israel but it feels bitter sweet.
16 July 2017/by Romi Grossberg

What’s Your Dream?

Do you have a dream? Have you told someone about it?
24 April 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Learning to Breathe

Have you ever stopped to notice your breath before?
When…
31 March 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Tears in Phnom Penh

I never know when the tears will come but I know they are there.
14 January 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Manila.

‘APWT is the largest, longest running, functioning literary network I know of in South East Asia and the Pacific’.
30 October 2016/by Romi Grossberg

“One day I just let go…“

I love what I do!
Last month I held my 'Writing from The…
14 October 2016/by Romi Grossberg

I am a Writer not a Hooper

I often thought if I had I joined in years ago at our weekly hoopjam instead of watching, drinking coffee, juggling, socialising and dancing, maybe I could be good too.
9 September 2016/by Romi Grossberg

Australia – you amaze me!

I planned a 3 week trip to Melbourne as an International guest…
18 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

My Book Launch

The week after I landed back in Thailand, the Tea Temple threw me the most beautiful book launch party.
3 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

My amazing trip to Samui

Once again I was invited by the amazing Anna Sugarman to host my 'Writing From The Source' workshop at her yoga teacher training in Bo Phut.
1 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

Melbourne events in May

I have finally landed in sunny Melbourne (yes the sun is actually…
16 May 2016/by Romi Grossberg

The Bliss Festival

If there is a better way to end the year than the Bliss…
1 January 2016/by Romi Grossberg

‘Stand Up’ Workshop

When the amazing International spoken word artist Fleassy Malay…
8 September 2015/by Romi Grossberg

‘Climbing the Walls,’ Griffith Review

Last year there was a call for submissions for the best new writers in Asia under 40.
11 August 2015/by Romi Grossberg
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About

Author, Counsellor, Writing Therapist & Public Speaker.



– Counselling sessions for adults and teenagers.

– Online and in-person.

– Workshops, courses and curriculums. 

– Mentor of writers and want-to-be writers.

– Public Speaking.


I love what I do.


I have been called a gypsy, a nomad, a hippy, a fairy, a bookworm, a rebel, sporty-spice, crossword junkie and the ‘grass-is-greener’ girl.



Maybe I was all of these things.

I

have been a sports teacher, a photographer, a social worker, a mental health specialist, a drug and alcohol counsellor, a public speaker and a traveller. I was one of those people who was always searching, though I never knew what I was looking for… until now. Living in South East Asia since March 2010, I feel that I have found… well, that I am found. 

Today I practice Holistic Counselling – because ‘holistic’ includes the ‘all of you’ and as unique individuals we need to recognise that our cultural, family, religious, spiritual and societal upbringing influences different aspects of us: the way we think, react, respond, feel and understand the world. My counselling sessions are forward thinking, looking at where are you now? Where are you trying to get to? What is in the way? And how can we make the path clear and easy? 

In sessions I may incorporate talk therapy with writing therapy and breath work and always promise to give you practical and grounded guidance with real life tools and techniques to take away. I work with mental health, emotional health, decision-making and trust, career advice, relationship advice, communication skills, societal issues and more, helping you find your voice and trust yourself.

Writing Mentorship: A journal writer since 1984, I write with ease and flow and teach others how to do the same. I teach self-expression, journaling and flow writing in both group and private sessions. I teach people how to get out of their head, connect with their body, get in touch with their source – their gut, the centre of all emotions. I even invented a word for it in 2015 – gutism.

I work with authors, writers and want-to-be writers at any stage of writing from the brainstorming stage right through – I give advice, tips, tools and techniques (not editing) of books, scripts or writing therapy and journalling. Writing for me is about understanding the process between the head, heart and gut. Writers block is when those three are in conflict.



I have been a volunteer worker since before I probably knew what it meant. It just seemed natural to want to help those less fortunate.

I have volunteered in Israel, Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Australia. I have been a carer in disability homes, an art teacher, a sports manager, a teacher at isolated schools for migrant children, a life skills coach for street kids and a community development worker for the World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

In 2010 I became the Manager of Tiny Toones Cambodia and my whole world changed. My heart got broken in to a thousand pieces and put back together over and over by the slum’s most precious street kids. I sat by their side through drug addiction, family violence, pain, recovery, relapse, slavery, corruption and poverty. They, ‘my kids’ taught me about unconditional love, respect, honour, determination and friendship. They taught me about family when they chose me as their mum, aunty and big sister.

“You should be a writer,” I kept hearing from friends and colleagues. I was a story-teller, definitely. I loved public speaking and have travelled on stages across Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Singapore and even the first ever Tedx Phnom Penh in 2011 and interviewed in newspapers, radio and television including the highly-regarded ABC Australia Network with journalist Kate Arnott.

In November 2012 I went to Laos for my first writers retreat purely because it felt right – even though I was broke and terrified. I don’t remember making any decisions since. Things just happened. Do what you love and the rest will come. I met incredible authors who became mentors and I fell madly in love with the pen. Eventually, I tore myself away from my beloved Cambodian family and moved to a small island in southern Thailand to focus on writing. This is when I truly felt I could call myself an author.

Now I sit in my office (by that I mean on my balcony) looking out in to the jungle, writing and editing. Going to work as a counsellor is only a hop, skip and jump over the hill. Life is beautiful.

Do you what you love …

and the rest will come.

Now, back to my office….


Recent blog posts

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Get Tips, Bits and Info from Romi

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Landing Page 04-2019

Do what you Love …
and the Rest will Come

Romi Grossberg Author Counsellor TEDx presenter Writing Therapist Public Speaker Social Emotional Educator

Romi is a qualified social worker, writing therapist, workshop facilitator and established author.



Author of ‘The 5-Minute Guide to Emotional Intelligence’ and ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’, Romi has been published in numerous forums such as The Huffington Post, Thrive Global and Griffith Review. She is a therapist for adults and teenagers and runs courses and workshops on emotional intelligence, life skills and practical coping strategies, communication, trust, intuition, anxiety, letting go, writing therapy, creative writing and more. She works online and in-person. She has also presented on the TEDx stage.

Writing from The Source, 2021.

The perfect way to start the new year; getting aligned, clear and able to express your desires. Learn how to tune out your noisy, monkey mind and listen to your body. Come back to your true self; your tapped or untapped emotions and creativity.

Professional Development Teacher Training, 2020.

Professional Development Teacher Training on understanding and identifying mental health and emotional well-being in adolescence.

The Key - What I can control v.'s What I cannot control, 2019.

Workshop from my book 'The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens' with 11-12 year olds on 'What I Can control v.'s What I cannot control.'

The Key - Who Am I? 2019.

A workshop for teenagers - learning self awareness strategies to answer the question Who Am I? Based on the activities from my book 'The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens.'

Upcoming Courses

– Online video courses currently available:

Positive Emotional Health & Well-Being.

Effective Communication.

– Professional Development Teacher Training available. Please contact me.

– Free Youtube videos and content on my YT channel and website.

– Individual adult, teen, couples or teen/parent counselling is available ONLINE. Please get in touch via my counselling page.


Articles



‘3 Ways to Step into 2021, Without the Weight of 2020,’ Thrive Global.

2020 felt like a pretty horrible year to most people no doubt. Understandably, we just want to walk (or run!) away from it. As much as we would like to switch off the memories, we can’t. Carrying the feelings, fear or anxiety of the past year into 2021 won’t benefit us as individuals, or as a collective. So how can we prepare for 2021?

‘3 Ways to Step into 2021, Without the Weight of 2020,’ Thrive Global.

2020 felt like a pretty horrible year to most people no doubt. Understandably, we just want to walk (or run!) away from it. As much as we would like to switch off the memories, we can’t. Carrying the feelings, fear or anxiety of the past year into 2021 won’t benefit us as individuals, or as a collective. So how can we prepare for 2021?

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Get Tips, Bits and Info from Romi

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Learning to Breathe

Have you ever stopped to notice your breath before?

When you get a fright, you inhale and hold your breath. When you get anxious, you take short breaths, not quite big enough to actually fill your lungs and body full of oxygen. When you’re in pain you probably exhale hard but don’t really remember to inhale.

Can you see some patterns relating to the breath? Can you see how important the breath is to control and keep us calm? You don’t in fact have to do anything to exhale, to breathe out, that happens naturally. What we need to concentrate on is the inhalation – the breathing in of oxygen because our body (including our brain) needs it. It sounds obvious and you’re probably thinking, “I breathe all day”, but do you really?

Do you take nice long deep breaths that truly reach your belly and truly open your chest and fill your lungs? If you do, then you’ll be feeling completely relaxed all the time.

Let’s stop here and try.

Lie on the floor if you can, or sit up straight. Put your hand on your belly and breathe in through your nose. Breathe into your belly until it is big, until you feel it expand and your hand rise with it (you may have learned this in a yoga class). Exhale gently through your mouth and let out a long sigh. When you exhale you should feel your hand on your belly drop as the air comes out. Breathe all the way out until you literally can’t exhale any more.

This video will help show you to how to take this deep breath.

https://youtu.be/1iVGYfp8Caw

Now that you know how, let’s add colours to the breath. Think of a colour that you like that makes you feel calm and happy.  Next, close your eyes and picture breathing in fresh oxygen and positive thoughts in this calm, beautiful colour full of love and happiness, all the way until your belly is big. When you exhale, breathe out all your negative thoughts, sadness and bad energy in a dirtier colour of brown or grey or whatever colour it is for you. Inhale love and all the beauty in your life and exhale what you don’t want or need. Try this a few more times.

If you are taking long, deep breaths now, can you feel how much space you actually have inside? More than you realised? Now that is a full breath!

It is not always simple and it does not come easily to everyone. I actually ended up having lessons in how to do this, because I felt like I couldn’t. I found it very stressful and scary to think that I didn’t know how to take a full deep breath until I learned and practiced. As with anything, practice is the key. Once you feel comfortable you can start using this type of breath whenever you feel you need it.

If you have had a stressful day, if you come home upset, if you have an exam coming up or have had a fight with someone, then lie down somewhere quiet and breathe. Start with one or two minutes and work your way up to five or more.

Using this breath when you are upset, angry or confused will help you calm down and bring focus and clarity. To take it one step further, here is another little trick. Before you lay down to practice your breathing, grab a pen and paper and write down whatever is on your mind. Write without trying to understand it all yet, just write all your thoughts or frustrations. This will help clear the chaos of the mind. Then breathe. Practice the breath you just learnt. This combination really helps clear the mind and bring calm.

Step 1:

Write

Step 2:

Breathe.

If nothing else then every night when you jump into bed, take at least three of these deep full breaths. You will feel more calm, and ready for sleep. I still do this every night.

* This breathing technique is part of my book The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens and is taught in class rooms as well as individually.