While we’re working, we often get so absorbed in our projects that we forget about our breathing. When this happens, particularly when we’re under stress, we can lapse into restricted breathing—inhaling in short gasps, or shallowly into the upper chest. What we don’t often realize is that how we breathe can deeply affect our efficiency and enjoyment in what we do. In this post, I’ll offer three breathing techniques to help you stay focused and peaceful as you work.
- The idea that breathing exercises can somehow calm you down is an ancient one—yoga isn’t a recent development, you know. But few people understand exactly how breathing can relieve stress on a physiological level and can even be used to increase workplace productivity.
- While most autonomic functions—such things as heart rate and digestion—are out of our conscious control, breathing is unique in that we can take charge, if desired.
- In layman’s terms, different breathing patterns can serve as a quick and often easy way to manipulate your emotional and physiological state in ways that allow you to be calmer, less stressed, and more productive.
“The answer lies in the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the automatic functions that keep our body ticking.”