Reduce Sales Stress With The Power Of Your Breath

It’s no secret that stress is having a massive impact on our physical, emotional, and mental health. But, did you know that when your stress levels go up the quality of your breathing goes down? 

Stress causes shallow, upper chest breathing (where minimal air is taken in) and when we breathe in a shallow way, the body remains in a cyclical state of stress—our stress causing shallow breathing and our shallow breathing causing stress. 

What’s the solution?

Scientists have now proven what yogis have known all along: with the right breathing exercises, we can all learn to manage stress more effectively. A research team at Yale has recently evaluated the impact of three well-being interventions:

– Breathing Exercises: in which you train yourself to control your emotions and inner state through breathing protocols.

– Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: a meditation technique in which you train yourself to be aware of each moment in a non-judgmental way.

– Foundations of Emotional Intelligence: a program that teaches techniques to improve awareness and regulation of your emotions.

They found that the participants who practiced breathing exercises experienced the greatest mental health, social connectedness, positive emotions, stress levels, depression, and mindfulness benefits.

What makes breathing so effective?

Your breath isn’t just part of your body’s stress response, it’s key to it. In fact, you can induce a state of anxiety in someone just by having them take shallow breaths from their chest. In contrast, deep breathing can physically calm your body down and induce a state of relaxation.

But why does deep breathing work? Researchers have found that there is a direct connection between the part of the brain that controls your emotions and the part that controls your breathing. In other words, by changing how you breathe you can change how you feel. For example, when you feel calm and content, your breathing will be regular, deep and slow. When you are stressed and angry, your breathing will be irregular, short, and shallow. 

Changing the rhythm of your breath can signal relaxation, slowing your heart rate and triggering the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” activities (in contrast to the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates many of our “fight or flight” responses).

To get an idea of how breathing can affect your arousal states (calm vs. stressed), try changing the ratio of your inhale to exhale:

– Prolonging the inhalation will bring more oxygen to your system and will increase your energy levels (increased sympathetic activity).

– Prolonging the exhalation will emit more CO2 and will calm you down (increased parasympathetic activity). 

Remember: when you feel stressed, lengthen your exhales. If you’re looking for a simple yet powerful way to relieve stress fast, you can download one of the most effective breathing protocols to do so here. 

Breathing exercises offer an extremely simple, effective, and convenient way to relieve stress. While a short breathing exercise can be effective from moment to moment, having a daily breathing routine will train your system for resilience and greater well-being over the long run. Try linking your breathing practice to something you do frequently throughout the day—like checking your phone or sending an email—and you’ll soon be on your way to making it a habit that supports your ability to manage stress more effectively.