April 12, 2022

When was the last time you stopped and thought about your breath?

Have you ever thought about just how important breath is to performance? In sports? At work? In all aspects of life?

Here is something to think about.

Did you know the average person breathes 18,000 to 22,000 times per day? But the only time you think about breathing is when you’re out of breath! When was the last time you practiced breathing? As a matter of fact, When was the last time you ever gave thanks for your bodies ability to breathe on its own? 

From a performance standpoint, breath is critical. Think about an athlete in the last seconds of a game. If an athlete gets tight, nervous, or anxious and the breath becomes shallow, it does not matter how good a shape the athlete is in or how prepared they are. It doesn’t matter how much an athlete can squat or how fast they can run. If the breath begins to become rapid and shallow the body will become tight and constricted. The athlete simply won’t be able to perform at optimum levels.

What scenarios can you come up with where your breath is vital to staying safe in your job?

How do you get better at breathing?

Step 1: Learn how to be aware of your breath. You do this by taking time to listen to your breath. After a workout, during a job task that is physically taxing or while driving in bad weather.

Step 2: Practice!

We don’t think about breathing if things are going well. We don’t necessarily think about breathing when times get tough, stressful, and chaotic. This is why we need to practice breathing! This is when it’s actually imperative to breathe. The goal is to practice enough breath work that when you are stressed or in a tight situation, you are able to calm your mind! 

So today and this week, focus on breathing. Maybe it’s early in the morning. Maybe it’s while you are driving. Maybe it’s investing 10 seconds during a physical activity that leaves you “breathless.” Maybe it’s when you are stressed. 

So how will you practice? Talk within your group about different ways to practice. It can happen in a variety of ways. Listening to a meditation recording. CALM, Headspace or just deep breathing. The point is to BREATHE!

The more you do this, the better. The more you TRAIN, the better you will get! Practice!! 

MYM Action Step: “424 Breath-Work Block”

When and where can you practice the 424 Breath-Work Block? Let’s practice now! This is all about controlling your breathing. This will take a time commitment of 20 seconds. Focus on your breathing. If your mind wanders, get your focus back on your breathing. 4 seconds inhale, 2 seconds hold, 4 seconds exhale

*Do 2 rounds of this! Ready? Let’s Go! Inhale for 4 Seconds - Hold Your Breath for 2 Seconds - Exhale for 4 Seconds, Inhale for 4 seconds, Hold for 2 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds. How much will you practice and give thanks to your breathe as you move forward?