Take A Breath: Deep Breathing And The Future of Work

Deep breathing workforce strategy
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic, political tensions, and instances of social injustice, have exacerbated the anxiety that many of us were already struggling with. Studies show that this heightened stress is hurting employee productivity and employee engagement. So, what do we do?

    The answer could be to take a deep breath. With the right breathing practices, you can take charge of your stress and manage negative emotions. This post will help you understand why breathing is so effective, how it works, and what particular methods might be best for you. 

    Employee Engagement Begins On The Inside

    So what makes breathing so effective? It’s very difficult to talk yourself out of feeling a negative or strong emotion, such as anxiety, stress, or frustration. For example, have you ever been told to “calm down” and it only ends up making you more worked up than before? If so, take comfort in the fact that there’s a scientific reason behind this. 

    When we are stressed, our prefrontal cortex — the part of our brain responsible for rational thinking — is impaired. This is why logic isn’t always the best way to manage difficult emotions while overcoming workforce development challenges. But with breathing techniques, it is possible to gain more control and move forward in your professional development during hard times. 

    Changing how we breathe can change how we feel. For example, when you feel happy, your breathing slows down to a deep, regular pace. If you feel anxious or angry, your breathing quickens and becomes more shallow. This means you can begin to feel a certain emotion just by altering your breath. 

    The eLearning Team Is Here To Help! 

    How Exactly Does This Work? When you alter the rhythm of your breath, you can actively signal relaxation. When the heart rate slows, it stimulates the vagus nerve. This nerve runs from the brainstem to the abdomen and is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which dictates how we rest and digest. 

    Triggering your parasympathetic nervous system helps you start to calm down on a deep, bodily level. This is something you can try anywhere. Try changing the ratio of your inhale to exhale and keep these things in mind: 

     -Inhaling makes your heart rate speed up

    -When you exhale, your heart rate slows down

    -When you feel extra stressed, lengthen your exhales

    Paving Educational Pathways Through The Body

    4-7-8 breath: This breathing practice was coined by Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of alternative medicine. This practice is not new, however, and it holds its origins as a yoga practice. This method is known to both slow and deepen the breath, which in turn reduces stress. This is a great practice for someone who is struggling with maintaining a high level of employee engagement. In Weil’s words, 

    “This is the most powerful relaxation technique I know. It takes little time, requires no equipment, costs nothing. You must practice it twice a day. With practice, it lowers heart rate and blood pressure, improves GI function, promotes good sleep, and counteracts anxiety.” 

    Diaphragmatic breathing:  This practice is also known as belly breathing, which expands the abdomen and deepens your breathing. While it can be done in any position, this breath comes most naturally laying down. 

    Embrace a new kind of learning philosophy and give this practice a try! Begin by placing one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Start breathing deeply into the abdominal region, and be mindful that your hand rises as your belly fills with air. Try to:

    -Keep the hand on your chest still. 

    -Tighten your abdominal muscles. 

    -Exhale at a slow pace. 

    Your belly should sink back into the spine while your chest remains still. If you purse your lips as you exhale, this slows the breath even more. If it is difficult to find a place to lie down during the workday, try it sitting in your office chair when you have a free moment. 

    A Learning Experience With WeLearn’s Learning Development Blog

    While a breathing exercise can be effective in the moment, it’s important to keep a routine that incorporates mindfulness practices daily. Staying constantly connected with your body will help you at work and beyond. 

    Which breathing techniques have helped you most in your work life? Did you notice a different level of employee engagement after bringing breathing practices to the workplace? We want to know here at WeLearn’s Development blog, where we are dedicated to your health and wellbeing.

    Share This Post:

    Subscribe to Our Blog:

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Scroll to Top
    Skip to content