Feeling stressed and out of focus? Hit the reset button with this quick but effective technique.
Deep breathing exercises can help you release stress, boost immune function, plus improve lung health, focus and clarity. Use this technique before a big meeting or presentation, when you’re feeling anxious, distracted, decision fatigue or stuck in general feelings of overwhelm. You’ll find yourself feeling refreshed, confident and ready to take-on whatever is next in your day.
Try this 1-minute breathing exercise to zap stress in the moment and shift to a calm and focused state of mind:
The technique: Close your eyes and count ten (minimum) long, slow breaths in and out. On the inhale, breathe deeply all the way into your lungs and belly, letting the entire front of your body expand with the breath. Allow yourself to move into a natural rhythm and pace. Many of my clients prefer to repeat to themselves “inhale one... exhale one... inhale two... exhale two…” and so on, to maintain the count and help prevent the mind from wandering to outside thoughts. Stay fully absorbed in the breath; practice letting go of thoughts and distractions as you exhale and release. Continue for as long as you need.
There are myriad mind-body benefits associated with deep breathing and other breath-work practices. Long slow inhales are the key to bringing the most oxygen into your blood, bringing new energy to your brain and body. It gives the body time to transfer the oxygen from the lungs to the blood and move the toxins and carbon dioxide out of the blood into the lungs to be expelled.
This is important because the lungs often don’t receive enough oxygen in certain places which creates bacteria. The majority of individuals are limiting themselves to using only a fraction of their total lung capacity, which is largely impacted by improper posture (sitting hunched over our desks and laptops with the chest caving inward), processing difficult emotions, stress and anxiety.
Without the full inhale and exhale, part of the lung always stays deflated, like a balloon, and can potentially collect bacteria and become stale. If the bad bacteria is greater than good bacteria, then bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema and other diseases may be encouraged to develop.
Easily remedied with intentional attention on the breath! Set a timer on your phone and try to check-in with yourself once every hour to notice how you’re sitting or standing and breathing. Correct your posture by lengthening the spine and opening the chest and shoulders, then take some long deep breaths so you can flow back into your day with new energy and motivation.
Need some guidance on reducing stress and improving clarity, so you can move towards your greatest ambitions with increased energy, clarity and purpose? Request a consulting session with me by sending me an email here. I look forward to learning more about you, your health and how I can help.