Well that’s a statement, isn’t it? Is this really possible? Let’s find out.
Learning how to control our breath is one of the most powerful and quickest strategies to reduce our stress levels, improve our state of mind, and increase our energy levels.
Below are four strategies that I use to improve decision-making, increase productivity, and create fewer emotionally driven negative reactions. All of which contribute to a better culture and environment for the team and our clientele.
With box breathing, start by exhaling through the mouth and emptying out the lungs. From here, start to inhale for four seconds through the nose, then exhale for four seconds through the mouth, hold now for another four seconds, and release again for four seconds through the mouth. Personally, I like to do this four times before I’m going into a stressful meeting, if I have to do some form of public speaking, etc. This is great for preventing stress from building up.
The physiological sigh
For real-time situations where you feel the stress overcoming your body and thoughts, start the same way as Box Breathing by exhaling through the mouth, then this time try breathing in through the nose twice before exhaling until you’re empty again. The exhale should definitely be longer than the two inhales. Repeat three or four times as well.
The two-minute release method
When you feel your emotions starting to overwhelm you, use this as a trigger to find some isolation for two minutes to get re-centered. Start by taking deep breaths in through the nose, and as you release out through the mouth, say quietly the word “release” a couple of times throughout the exhale. Think about all of the tension from your head, down through your neck and shoulders being released from your body. Do this for two minutes and you will find yourself in a much better state going back out into the showroom.
Early mornings and afternoons are typically when we could use an additional boost of energy. This is where the Bellows Breath technique comes in. You may want to find isolation but a version of it can be done sitting at your desk as well without the arm movement. Start with your arms over your head and as you bring them down quickly, breathe out through the nose. Just as quick, push your arms back up in the air and breathe in through the nose. That’s one cycle. It should take about one second per cycle, apply 20 to 30 cycles three times. This will increase your heart rate and get your sympathetic nervous system kicked into high gear.
There is no shortage of breathing strategies. Whichever strategy you choose to go with, the key that I’ve found is a consistent rhythm.
What do you believe becomes available to us as leaders when we are able to be in more control of our emotions through effective breathwork instead of being in a reactionary state?
You got this!
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