When we are under stress a number of physical things happen: We sweat, our heart rate rises, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid and our muscles tense up.

This is all part of a system designed to help us respond appropriately to genuine danger but it’s not helpful when the danger isn’t real and we need to be calm; it’s even less helpful when low-level stressors are at work for an extended period of time resulting in a lack of energy leading to chronic fatigue.

The most effective way of reversing these symptoms and taking control of your day is to consciously work with your breathing.

Try this: Put your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your abdomen. If your right-hand rises more than your left hand when you breathe, it’s likely that you are a chest breather.

The greatest amount of blood flow occurs in the lower part of the lungs, so if you breathe from the chest you will struggle to access that superior blood flow, which means your body won’t receive important nutrients in the quantities it needs.

So, try thinking about breathing from the abdomen. Exhale from the mouth then take a slow breath in through the nose. Hold the breath for a few seconds then exhale again through the mouth. Take longer to exhale than inhale. Repeat the cycle half a dozen times.