Breathing in the age of burnout
Getting some fresh air is a brilliant tonic for stress.
Oxygen to the brain is good for clarity of mind too.
There are a hoard of benefits to breathing, that can improve your state of wellbeing in so many ways, that you might think twice about how (un)conscious you are in the very thing that keeps you alive.
If you think about it, taking in a big deep breath of fresh air does wonders for your body.
Expanding your lung capacity by inhaling, and then exhaling the air out, either relaxes or energises you.
What it does fundamentally, is regulate your body and system and ultimately shifts you into a transformative state of healing.
Breathing techniques are in the dozens - from Yoga breathing, Connected breathing, Box breathing to Warrior breathing, Sitali and Alternate nostril breathing - the list is endless, but what it all has to do with, is with the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen you carry in your body, which, aids in and supports the body’s natural ability to repair and recover.
It’s not uncommon, particularly at the moment, that many people are experiencing burnout and fatigue. The need to be well is a priority. The need the breathe consciously, the cure!
Our respiratory system is exceptional in that it is both an unconscious part of our automatic nervous system, but also under our conscious control.
Everyday we respond to excessive stimulus and stress that can trigger and exacerbate anxiety, slow down metabolism, create inefficient digestion and even premature ageing. This affects our ability to sleep, nutritional absorption and energy levels and a host of ailments.
So before you take another “pill” - consider taking a deep breath.
Breath balances the rhythm of energy and recovery in our bodies by creating harmony and flow between the sympathetic nervous system (energy state) and the parasympathetic system (restoration and recovery state).
By consciously breathing - meaning we are aware of our breath in terms of:
* rhythm - how many breaths we are taking a minute
* depth of the breath - are we filling our lungs to the bottom and to the back, are we breathing into our diapraghm or rather with our chest and shoulders (stress)
* quality of breath - whether we breathe through the nose or mouth. Each has different effects on the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body and brain. Each change can have a different effect on energy levels, relaxation and restoration.
“Breathing helps us to shift out of an inflammatory state, activating and supporting the body’s innate wisdom, by generating authentic energy versus adrenalised energy.”
- Breathwork Africa.
So getting into healthy breathing habits, which can be part of our every day, and at any time of the day, has the ability to support our recovery. As more research is showing breathwork improves insomnia, asthma, pain management, chronic fatigue, high and low blood pressure, anxiety and depression, headaches, allergies and autoimmune diseases to name a few.
In the 22 000 breaths we take on average every day, how many are you aware of? Likely not as many as you could be conscious of! We can choose to consciously breathe in any activity. Consider it when you talk, eat, share, type emails, drive and exercise or just take in some fresh air.
Either way it is a natural therapy to use to heal. So let it all out and take a big breath in, hold it and let it out.
Now how do you feel?