Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing and Peak Human Performance.
You have deadlines closing in, an intense workload and a hectic schedule; your stress levels keep rising and your productivity in the workplace is falling as a consequence. If you are in a situation where job tasks and working environment are harming your mental well being, the reasonable thing to do is to take a moment to relax. When overly stressed, our breathing pattern changes from deep and slow breaths to quick and shallow ones. Deep breathing fully oxygenates the brain and body. It facilitates a relaxed state of mind, while short breaths make stress even worse. By following this simple exercise, which takes no more than five minutes of your time, you will be able to bring your breathing pattern back to normal, and calm yourself down.
- Sit on a chair with your back straight. Your lower back should not touch the chair. Avoid straining yourself; you need to be comfortable.
- Start inhaling fully and deeply to the count of 4
- Hold your breath for another count of 4
- Start exhaling very slowly until you reach a count of 8
- Wait for a count of 4 before you start inhaling again
- Repeat for 10 times
If a count of 4-4-8-4 is too hard for you, you can try with a count of 3-3-6-3 or 2-2-4-2. Once you manage to control your breathing, you will find that you can cope more easily with stress, which will certainly increase your productivity in the workplace.
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