Updated: Sep 5, 2018
You breathe habitually every day, taking in the air around your and exhaling toxins within your body. Have you ever stopped to consider, How you breathe? and it's importance? Let's take a break from our monotonous schedule and muse. The purpose of changing your breathing will shock you.
Do you remember feeling overwhelmed and anxious as a child and being instructed to change your breathing? Did the directions go something like this? breathe in, hold it and slowly breathe out keep going until you relax and your heartbeat slows down. Well, this practice doesn't change now that you're older and more so during the increased amount of interaction with stressful situations. Connecting with your breathing and staying present with it will help slow the stress reaction internally down.
Stress has been estimated to cost employers $300 billion a year in health care* and missed work according to this source. Taking breaks to work on breathing is an effective way to lower risk of work sickness and serious health problems.
Breathing correctly means supplying our bodies with the right amount of oxygen and replenishing the brain and other vital organs with essential nutrients. Our cardiopulmonary system plays a major role in moving those nutrients around—which means it’s the highway transporting all the toxins in our systems, too. Breathing, in other words, can help us control the traffic, keeping the good stuff moving while clearing the rubbish off the road.
There are many ways to introduce a different breathing pattern to do you some good in and out of the office.
When you wake up in the morning come into mountain pose - stand up straight with a relaxed shoulder, neck relaxed. Focus on letting your body feel floppy. Taking in breaths for counts of 3 four times than for a longer take it up to 5 four times and then to counts of 10 four times. Do this for 5 - 10 minutes daily breaths. You can do this breathing exercise of counting throughout your day to focus on your breathing and reduce tension in your body.
Running every day or brisk walk increasing the heart rate natural changing the way you breathe. If you don't enjoy stunning you can try lunchtime walk. Taking the time to change your breathing through the exercise like this alleviates stress by making the mind care out an action somewhat close to problem-solving. As you are running your body consciously is looking for ways to keep you safe. Each muscle figures out how to perform at its best focusing your thoughts on your breathing getting a steady and accurate flow of oxygen through your lungs can be happy as you reach success. Once you have managed it you will feel relaxed, during your exercise focusing on something else than the issue or last scenario you were in can motivate, create an idea to combat your issue or even bring a clear conclusion.
There are a few poses to do specific deep breathing exercises; Sitting on a yoga ball, handstand, legs up the wall pose and standing legs between legs. Deep breathing leads to stronger lungs and strong lunch pump more oxygen into the blood. The blood then flows to the heart and is sent around the body. When blood is healthy, the heart doesn’t need to work as hard to deliver blood to the tissues in the body. Healthy blood = healthy heart. Get breathing! Choose your pose and begin with soft breathes in and out of the nose with the mouth closed. Then inhale through your nose just enough to fill you abdominal and exhale through your nose, breathe in again through your nose mouth close inhale to fill bottom of your rib cage and release through your nose and then final inhale, nice bold breath of air filling the lungs feel your chest come forwards, shoulders are relaxed and back, then release slowly they the mouth repeat 5 - 10 times. You may feel the body really relax, you may yawn, you may want to stretch your ligaments this is all good.
Improves Your Mental Health Breath work increases pleasure inducing near chemicals in the brain which help elevate mood. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is our fight-or-flight response. A powerful system within the body that helps us mobile energy to complete tasks. In small doses the SNS is vital however when out of whack the body and mind can suffer. Breath work can help lower cortisol levels, which calms the nervous system down and stops the body going into fight or flight over the smallest task.
The breath is the simplest and most effective tool out there and in the words of Thich Nhat Hạnh, - "Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky" Conscious breathing is the solution.
* want to know more about the effects of stress on business productivity read here