How’s your breathing right now?
Shallow from the chest, or more full from the diaphragm? Don’t worry; this isn’t a quiz or anything like that. It’s an easy-to-do 3 part breathing exercise series to help jumpstart the mind to actually get some work done.
It happens like clockwork in my coaching sessions, which all start and close with deep breathing exercises and light stretches. Within that 9-minute window of quiet time with purposeful breathing techniques, the yawns usually start rolling in…and they’re welcome. After that, they feel and are refreshed and focused.
Similar to the concept of “power naps,” short sessions of refreshment time through breathwork can help to jumpstart the mind and prepare the body to get moving, not swiftly – but with more clarity.
So, if a few yawns come while you’re doing these exercises coming up in this post, that’s alright. Enjoy them. Addressing residue fatigue and gifting yourself with some quiet time and revivifying thinking for a few moments – on and with purpose, makes a big difference to actually get those top tasks on today’s list taken care of and out of the way.
Nobody wants pressing to-dos (of any kind) weighing on the mind, sending any of us into an unmotivated slump. So we’ve gotta do something about that.
How about now?
And so…here’s a 9-minute daily routine to press forward and get that work done.
Before you start…don’t think about the tasks right this second.
Focus on your breathing and thinking.
You may feel a bit sleepy at first or tempted to overthink. If you yawn a few times, that’s okay. But don’t let thoughts or emotions take the reigns. They can be reckless drivers.
Acknowledge your thoughts, but filter them well…and gently turn down the volume.
Take 3 deep breaths, without consciously thinking about technique right now. Keep your eyes wide open and stretch out your fingers, with each inhalation. In through the nose and out through the mouth.
Relax your fingers, hands and eyes instantly, as you exhale.
Breathing from the diaphragm (picture a belly-breath rather than a chest one), inhale and slowly exhale 3 times. Instead of the way many of us are usually breathing (shallow and in short bursts), you want your tummy to expand on the inhale and then contract or ‘cave in’ (like a soup bowl could sit comfy on it) on the exhale.
Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale slowly with force (not dramatic; just strong) through the mouth. Now tighten the tummy for a beat before inhaling.
Before we go to the next breathwork tip – in case you’re feeling a bit sleepy, start to prioritize 3 to-dos on your list. But don’t assign any emotional value to them. This isn’t their time just yet; it’s yours right now.
The reason we’re bringing those tasks on board in the middle of this particular breathing exercise set is ’cause this formula is for jumpstarting the mind to get work done.
Inhale and flex both the wrists and feet.
Now, exhale and stretch the fingers while pointing your toes – but not too hard. ‘Pins an’ needles’ or foot cramp are not fun. Then inhale – still pointing and extending. Exhale slowly as you gently relax both hands and feet.
Let your breathing reset, and write down or type out those top tasks to tend to today (try saying that 3 times fast). Don’t upset that refreshment time by allowing yourself to get annoyed by any of those to-dos.
Just lightly remember what and whom they’re for, when they need to be completed by and how you’ll start taking care of them one by one.
Remember, you can be on schedule without being a hostage to time.
Breath is an amazing gift we’ve been given, and something to be thankful for.
P.S: The information shared here is not intended to replace or override any medical advice from health-care professionals. You’re reading this, so you’re already breathing right now. These exercises, based on years of coaching, are to help you breathe better while refreshing your mindset to be more focused and clear about what needs to be taken care of (all by grace) today.
So, how is your breathing now? Better from when you started reading this post I hope. Save the link or print this out to try it again whenever you need to, or book an introductory online breathwork session with me today to get the special that’s on until Friday, May 8th, 2020.
Along with training vocalists, speakers and podcasters, I help overwhelmed CEOs breathe deeper to lead better and calmer.
Breathing better is beneficial on so many levels, it isn’t funny. From more focused thinking to improved circulation, detoxifying the skin and calming, pacing or energizing us, it’s so weird how we take something so precious for granted.
Guess that’s why we all need little reminders about something or another on any given day.
At a time when respiration is a huge part of the current global situation and conversation – and things like anxiety and stress have been amplified in so many, paying more attention to our breathing and thinking is highly recommended.
I still do checks (usually at random intervals) during the day to monitor (or correct) how I’m breathing, sitting, standing of lifting. Because we still have unhealthy habits or get inattentive sometimes.
The tips shared here can help you boost your mind while re-setting your default breathing pattern, but they’re also beneficial beyond business and to-do lists. You’ll feel and think way better, and your skin will glow more because of it.
Are you more aware about the way you breathe on a daily basis, and inspired to be more conscious about putting some purpose in the process?
Feel free to share in the comments.
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