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Patient Information


Being in hospital can cause anxiety, so it is important to remember that you are in a centre of excellence with a highly skilled and experienced team taking care of you and you are here for a good reason. It’s well worth affirming those reasons to yourself from time to time.

It may also help you to know that you are not helpless in the situation and there is much you can do to support your own well-being. Meditation is an effective way of quietening the mind and calming the body. After sitting (or lying) quietly for a while, watching your breath, you may notice your breathing and heart rate start to slow. These are signs that your body has shifted gear and gone into the (parasympathetic) state that best supports your body’s ability to repair and restore and your general well-being.  

The practice is simple:

  • Begin by closing your eyes and feeling the sensations of your breath – notice where you feel it most vividly (nose, chest, or belly?) If you like, it can feel comforting to place a hand on your belly and feel it rise and fall with your breath
  • Allow your breath to breathe itself – you are not trying to control its rhythm
  • Notice how the air is cooler on the in-breath and warmer on the out-breath
  • Notice the slight pauses between the in-breath and the out breaths, and the out-breath and the in-breath
  • Notice when your mind has wandered and is no longer on the breath (this is normal). Note what took your mind away from the breath and if that thought has had an effect on your body, then gently and kindly bring your attention back to the breath.

This simple breath practice can be very helpful whenever you experience pain or anxiety or simply to help you get to back sleep at night. It can be used to complement any analgesia you may also be taking.

Stop and breathe

Stop and breathe is another method you can use to help yourself feel better. It's very easy to learn and you can do it sitting or lying down. You can do it anytime of night or day, wherever you are. It's best of all if you can remember to do this every day. 


  • Find a good place to sit or lie down
  • Shift a little to make yourself as comfortable as you can.
    Take a few moments to feel where you come into contact with the chair or the bed that you are resting on


  • Then tune into your breathing – follow its rhythm and watch your mind
  • Feel all the sensations of breathing – in your nostrils, your chest and your tummy
  • When you start to think about something else, remember it’s not a problem. All our minds wander like this, just gently come back to your breathing…….  You may have to do this many times!

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital | T: 0121 685 4000 |