Tag Archives: overwhelmed

Mind Chi Chat – your power breath

Something that we do all the time, however seldom give any though to – is your breath.

And it is CRUCIAL!! Not doing it has dire results. And not doing it with awareness ALSO has disastrous results!!

Why is your power breath important?

In previous Mind Chi blogs, I have shared ways to check how you are currently breathing. At this time, many people discover that they are taking shallow, high chest breaths.
This is the least effective way to breathe and exacerbates the strain of any stressors.

Let’s look at two crucial reasons why your power breath is so important.

  1. Your brain requires approximately 20% of the oxygen of every intake of breath.
    Lack of oxygen to the brain is why you may feel tired, confused, forgetful and can’t think clearly when you feel the strain of stressors.
  2. Controlled power breathing sends a message to your parasympathetic nervous system and tells you that you can remain in control. You do not need to let the ravages of stress overcome you.
Your square belly power breath

How to do your power breath

There are just 4 simple steps:

  1. Breath in puffing out your belly, slowly for a count of 3 seconds
  2. Hold that breath for a count of 3 seconds
  3. Breathe out slowly for a count of 3 seconds and
  4. Stay empty (wait – do not breathe back in right away) for a count of 3 seconds
    and repeat.

Additional considerations:

  1. If you are able, make sure your feet are both square on the floor; if seated, that your sitting bones are solidly on the chair; that you stack your vertebrae one on top of each other, so you do not require extra energy to hold your body up, and slightly wiggle your head to make sure it is balanced on top of your spine.
  2. If you are walking to a meeting or something you are really not looking forward to, just perform your square belly, power breath as you go, and continue throughout the meeting as much as you can.
  3. If you are already skilled in breathing techniques, feel encouraged to make each side of the square longer – just keep them all the same length.

Here is a 4-minute video explaining the square belly power breath: https://thechangemakergroup-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/p/vanda/Ed7iA72gC-lKiga60kwYl2oBnCr58whAQJnsbEIbF11j4Q?e=FbUtvW

The square belly power breath is the first step of Mind Chi

For the next few weeks, I am going to ‘deep dive’ into each of the 8-steps of Mind Chi, so you may discover more of their importance and potential for you to control your mental energy and build your resilience.

Chi and I are standing by on the ready to take your calls and emails!

Chi & I look forward to seeing / hearing from YOU!!!

To book a 15 minute Mind Chi Chat with Vanda to explore how Mind Chi might assist you, your group, team or company build resilience and joy!

And for more wonderful Mind Chi blogs:

Want more resilience for your organisation, here:

Here is a short cartoon about ‘Resilience for Change’

Call ADOCTA – I’m changing!

New Year, new hope, new dreams, new expectations, new possibilities, maybe THIS year….

What if I said I can provide you with a formula which can guarantee your success, would you be interested?

But before I do, let’s look at change. Change sometimes happens fast, usually circumstances around you have caused things to look very different – suddenly. You might win the lottery, or be involved in an accident and unexpectedly everything is changed. More likely it is the slow, slow, quick, quick, slow way. Sometimes you really do not notice it happening, except when you look back over a year and suddenly see the difference. Sometimes it speeds up and you are more aware of the pressures.

Sometimes you are the initiator of change, but probably you are mostly the recipient of change being done to you. All these factors make a difference as to how you feel about the change that is occurring.  The important point is that regardless, you still do have control, control over you and how you respond, and that can make it feel very different.

At The Change Maker Group we specialise in Resilience for Change, please visit.

Here is an example of my review of 2017:   

At this time of year, one activity I always do is to do a review of the past year – what happened?!
It is only a year on, yet it can be amazing how surprising it can be. This is a great time for a map as you can see the whole year on one page and it brings it all together.
You can group the information in any way that is most meaningful to you: maybe chronologically; or work, family, self, goals; or seasons of the year, any headings that work well for you.     

What is ‘plurk’?

f you are wondering what PLURK is, it is a word we made up in my office years ago, because we all enjoyed our work so much it felt like play, but we wanted it to have more gravitas, so we combined work with play and got ‘plurk’! As I have done these maps for many years now, it can be wonderful to look back over the years like an all-time-at-once glance!

I also compare what I have achieved with my original goals map and mark it up to show where I am pleased and where I fell short. Then consider if it is important to focus more on that for the coming year, or has it dropped off in importance. Here is my 2017 marked up! 

The outcome of the year

Having looked backwards, the next is to plan forwards, and here is what will be important for me in 2018:

Looking backwards to go forwards

Time to call in ADOCTA!

Which all builds up to how do you achieve what you want to? How do you change in those areas that are meaningful and often very difficult? And here is the prescription: ADOCTA – an acronym standing for Actions; Do; Observe; Consider; Tweak and Actions, all in the direction of your overall goal.    


Which all builds up to how do you achieve what you want to? How do you change in those areas that are meaningful and often very difficult? And here is the prescription: ADOCTA – an acronym standing for Actions; Do; Observe; Consider; Tweak and Actions, all in the direction of your overall goal.        

How does this look in action?

  1. What is your goal?

    Please state your goal as the desired outcome, for example ‘I choose to attain and maintain my perfect weight of xxxx’ rather than ‘I don’t want to be fat’.
    Another important point is that it must be measurable – what by when, e.g. 114lbs by June 17th, 2018. Further, select the powerful action verb, such as ‘I choose…’. If you use ‘I wish…’, or ‘I will…’ you are not claiming the action as yours, now.
  2. Your first Action

You know your goal and yourself, so what is an action that you need to take?
Look at your current reality, where are you now? Decide on one small, or large step and how you will prepare to make it happen.

  1. Now to Do it!

    Your first step, take it! Do it!
  2. You need to Observe

    What actually happened? You walked into the office and they had a large box of wonderful sweets, which you had decided you would NOT eat… is that what happened?
    Replay the mental video, what did you think? What did you do? Was it as you intended?
  3. Next is to Consider those actions

If you were able to stay away from the chocolates, look at what you did that enabled you to do that. If you weren’t, do not be tough on yourself, just look at where you need to shore up the banks to help it be easier for you next time. Every time assess, did this take you closer to your desired goal? If the answer is yes! Then continue in that direction, if no! Then what do you need to amend?

  1. The Tweak step

    Which leads to the next step, the Tweak. These steps are all small and interlaced, this makes them easier for you to do as you now think about how might you Tweak your actions for the next day. Do make this as much fun as you can, maybe your co-workers could start honking if they see you standing by the chocolate box, or they could hide them from you, or you can have carrot sticks at the ready as a substitute!
  2. And ready for Action again

You are ready to take the next action and move towards your ultimate goal. This is called an ‘iterative loop’, meaning that you keep repeating these steps until you get to the Consider step, and you feel that you have Completed your goal and can now CELEBRATE!!  Sometimes your life may have changed, and you may Consider that you need to amend or change your goal. However, if the goal is still valid and desired by you, then keep repeating this ADOCTA prescription and you are guaranteed success!

There you are!! The recipe for guaranteed success, the way you may be sure that you can make the changes that you want or need to make. The good part is that when you have this formula it is so easy to keep focused, it stops you from negatively judging yourself and allows you to almost dispassionately observe the next step to take. Remember, the journey of 100 miles starts with a single step. Good fortunes and please let me know if your successes.

The Resilient Woman Warrior

Vanda North

DK Capture Photography in Poole Bournemouth