How To Breath Better
How To Breath Better? Focusing can be difficult especially when you are facing deadlines at work. Pouring yourself another cup of coffee might not be the best idea. Did you know that breathing correctly can improve your focus, creativity and make you more engaged at work? I didn’t either till now!
If you think you already know how to breath, think again! Check out these awesome tips from Fast Company to improve your breathing!
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR AT WORK
Major companies are making investments in their employees’ health and wellness, which in some cases includes offering yoga and meditation at work. Here at Upping Your Elvis, our creative leadership company, we’ve found the majority of senior executives we’ve worked with say that learning how to breathe properly has changed their lives.
Indeed, for such a simple habit the benefits can be surprising. Bill Reilly, marketing director of Apple Pay, said in a Harvard Business Review profile that by taking three deep breaths each time he sat down at his desk helped him relax during the course of a busy day. Over time, those three breaths turned into several minutes a day, then into a 30-minute meditation session. Reilly found it rebooted his perspective and helped him come up with new ideas and solutions to problems.
Rimma Muchnik, a strategic management consultant, recently learned how to breathe well, too. “Type A personalities, especially those in banking and finance, tend not to be as open to new things like this,” she told Crain’s. “I liked that it wasn’t
yoga-y. There wasn’t any deep discussion about the universe. I sleep better. I am more focused and productive at work; my blood pressure has gone down.”
DEEP BREATHS, LESS STRESS
Recent research has shown the positive impact deep breathing has on our bodies’ ability to deal with stress. Stress has been estimated to cost employers $300 billion a year in health care and missed work.
STRESS HAS BEEN ESTIMATED TO COST EMPLOYERS $300 BILLION A YEAR IN HEALTH CARE AND MISSED WORK.
In a recent survey, 21% of employees reported stress as the main source of errors and missed deadlines at work; 15.5% had difficulty getting along with colleagues; 14.9% missed days at work; and 14.4% said stress made them late. It’s no wonder the World Health Organization called stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century.”
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure directly impacts your productivity and creativity. The emotional intelligence service TalentSmart conducted research with over a million people and found that 90% of top performers are skilled in remaining calm under stress.
Luckily for us, we can all learn to breathe better and keep stress in check—anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
THE SCIENCE OF BREATHING
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.
We each take about 20,000 breaths a day. The average human respiratory rate is 30 to 60 breaths per minute at birth, decreasing to 12 to 20 breaths per minute as adults.
As babies, we all take deep, relaxing breaths from our abdomen. If you’ve ever watched a small child sleeping, you’ve seen their belly rises and falls. But as we get older, the way we breathe changes. Especially when we’re stressed or alarmed, our bodies operate on our more primitive “fight, flight, or freeze” instincts, and we take short, fast breaths to prepare for danger.
BREATHING CORRECTLY MEANS SUPPLYING OUR BODIES WITH THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF OXYGEN AND REPLENISHING THE BRAIN AND OTHER VITAL ORGANS WITH ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS.
But prolonged periods of stress mean we constantly breathe like this, only ever using the top third of our lungs. It’s the bottom third of our lungs, however, that supply two-thirds of our breathing capacity. So shallow, thoracic breaths mean we aren’t getting what we need to function at optimum level. As a result, our cognitive abilities go slack, we have trouble staying alert and connecting with others, and often just have less fun.
On the flip side, when we breathe deeply we’re likelier to have more energy and feel less stressed. Our posture and digestion can even improve.
HOW TO BREATHE BETTER
There are plenty of ways to breathe more deeply, but one popular approach has been developed by the holistic health specialist and sleep expert Dr. Andrew Weil. Called the 4-7-8 method, it helps calm the mind and relax the muscles. Here’s how to do it.
Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, feel your belly expanding.Hold that breath for a count of seven.Then blow out through your mouth for a slow count of eight. If you can, put your tongue behind your bottom teeth and making a whooshing sound as you exhale.
If you really want to expand on your knowledge of breathing correctly take an interest in yoga. With every breath we take we are expelling toxins from our body. Using breathing exercises can help you better expel those toxins from your body, relax you, and clear your mind. Try these breathing exercises right now and let me know how they work out for you!