3 Breathing Techniques To Reduce Tension and Increase Productivity
During the month of May, the team at Inkling are focusing on health and wellbeing. On Monday's we reflect as a team on the week thats been, and Plan ahead for Our Week Of Wow (POWOW) during our Monday Morning Meetings (MMM). This week's homeplay is detailed below...
Did you know you can dramatically shift your mood in sixty seconds of intentional breath work?
Plus the results will improve if you set an intention for what obstacles you’re releasing and what energy or quality you are redirecting your energy toward.
Accessing your inner power with your breath is a useful tool when wanting to live your life to its fullest. Pranayama is the control and extension of the breath which awakens Prana (life force energy). Practicing the way you inhale and exhale can help you manipulate your vital energy to successfully activate or soothe your mood.
Here are 3 breathing exercises you can do to release tension, lower your heart rate, and improve your productivity and focus. Set a timer and try each of these breathing techniques throughout the week, for at least five minutes each! You will see a difference in your mood.
1. Diaphragmatic breathing
Put one hand on your upper chest, the other on your belly; which moves first when you inhale, which moves most? Your belly should rise and fall as you breathe, and your chest should hardly fill. The more you do this exercise consciously, the more you will practice it unconsciously. Take a moment every hour to practice this exercise.
2. Timed breathing
A great, simple breathing exercise for calming both the nervous system and the overworked mind is a timed breath where the exhale is longer than the inhale. When your exhale is even a few counts longer than your inhale, the vagus nerve (running from the neck down through the diaphragm) sends a signal to your brain to turn down your sympathetic nervous system (your flight or flight response) and turn up your parasympathetic nervous system (which controls your rest, relax and digest response).
3. Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath)
Nadi Shodhana balances the right and left channels of our nervous system.
- Start by emptying the lungs on an exhale. Close the right nostril with the right thumb, and breathe in through the left nostril for four counts. Hold for two counts.
- Inhale for four counts and hold for two counts. Exhale for four counts and hold for two counts.
- Repeat ten rounds. Seal the left nostril with the right ring fnger and breathe out through the right nostril for four counts. Hold for two counts. Breathe in through the right nostril for four counts and hold for two counts.
- Seal the right nostril with the right thumb, and breathe out through the left nostril for four counts. Hold for two counts.
- Repeat the cycle eight times.
Practicing these techniques on a daily basis and will provide you with immediate results. Try these when you are feeling a high level of anxiety or pressures to help you to reduce your heart rate and create the space and relaxation you require.
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