To Breathe or Not to Breathe: Being a Cool Cucumber at Work
Updated: Sep 16
So, obviously, not breathing isn’t an option. It’s kind of important. But there are certain types of breathing that are better than others and can actually take those overworked, overstressed, want-to-punch-something moments and make them disappear. I know, less stress sounds amazing. Especially when you’ve sat at your desk and staring at a list of to-dos that are multiplying faster than Gremlins snacking after midnight . So, sit back and let’s walk through some of the easiest and most office-adaptable ways to fill up those lungs and let out the anxiety.
The biggest thing to remember during all of these breathing tips is to focus on the actual breathing. It’s pretty much the key to clearing that stress-fog that likes to seep in and magnify every task at hand. But when you give yourself a moment to truly focus on something else, i.e.: your breathing? Your mind begins to become impenetrable. And you can actually create a little Mind Sanctuary in your head. Fill it with whatever you want… birds signing on a beautiful morning, colorful flowers blown by a light breeze, ice cold beer at a ball game, waves lapping the sand at the beach. Just make it a place you can focus on and escape to.
Okay, let’s do this!
Simple 5 Count Breathing
This is perfect to get your mind in the right place and it’s one of the easiest to kick off and feel the benefits almost immediately.
You’re going to belly inhale for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds and really try and make each cycle go deeper. You want to feel those lungs expanding and shrinking. Focus on that. You want to do these at least 6 times, more if you have the time. Either way you’ll be grooving right along in no time. People may not even recognize you without the scowl.
Here’s a nifty little tool help you truly visualize the movements until your body is doing them without thought:
DE-STRESS & INVIGORATE: Pranayama
Meaning the extension of breath.
Alternating nostril breathing in intervals of 7, 11 and 21 is best recommended at work as it will not only de-stress but also supplies oxygen to the entire blood stream.
So BONUS you can ease that burden of work AND feel ready to run a marathon. Or hit the snack table… pace yourself, Schwarzenegger.
UNWIND: Relaxation deep breathing
Take a deep breath right from the bottom of your abdomen. Inhale and make sure your stomach is ballooning out to be certain you’re breathing from the deepest part of your center. Then let it out through your nose counting 5 seconds.
This is a super effective breathing exercise for relaxing any cramps or pains that are associated with seating positions in the office desk. Like that crinkly neck thing that always seems to set in around 2? Or the fact that your butt has begun to feel like a petrified piece of coral…
BYE BYE PANIC: Equal breathing
Balancing the breath comes with perfect diaphragm control. (Remember what we said up top? You want to see your stomach moving not your chest!)
To start, inhale and exhale for a count of four each. This must be done through the nose which brings great flexibility to the diaphragms and synchronizes the breathing. This calms the entire nervous system thereby cooling the body naturally and relieving stress.
Ready to roll in and tell the boss his idea is a smoldering garbage pile? Or maybe you have a big pitch you’re worried about? This is the perfect exercise to get calm, stay calm and nail whatever is coming up.
Feeling good, right? Ready to break down barriers and save the world one KPI report at a time? Okay so we’re idealists, what can we say? But I’m confident to say you’re at the very least, feeling mellow. And not at all stressed if you did any of the techniques above.
So boom! Baby steppin’ your way to less stress. Class dismissed.
If you've mastered the art of breathing, make sure to move on up to "Ohm'n Your Day" with some meditation!
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and if you’re finding yourself a bit lost as to where to start to implement these kinds of better health practices in your own office, give us a call.
We can help you wade through the muck and create a plan that will help your office be as serene as can be.