What if I told you that just 5 minutes of breathing could give you as much of a boost during that mid afternoon slump as a cup of espresso? You’d probably think I was crazy and, a few years ago, you might have been right! But in 2016, many companies like Google are using breathing and meditation techniques to help their staff manage the stress and anxiety that comes from business.
The Breathing Technique That Replaces The Espresso
This isn’t just 5 minutes of normal breathing. You need to learn how to breathe deeply. Debra Penzone, the CEO of Charles Penzone Salons, calls it a ‘three part breath’. She divides the breath into three distinct parts – the lower belly, the side ribs, and the upper chest.
You start by breathing in slowly through the nose. Why? Debra says ‘Breathing through the nose gives 50% more resistance to the airflow compared to mouth breathing and gives your breath a rhythmic, soothing pattern to your breath’. You need to completely exhale and then slowly inhale through your lower belly, your side ribs, and then your chest. Hold the breath for a few heart beats. Then slowly exhale through your nose, starting at your lower belly, moving to your side ribs and upper chest.
According to Debra, this breathing exercise ‘increases oxygen flow to the brain by up to 7 times compared to regular breathing, brings you to the present moment, and helps work get done quickly and efficiently.’
How is this better than coffee? This 5 minutes of breathing focuses the mind,improves concentration and, unlike that cup of coffee, reduces stress and anxiety.
What Are The Benefits?
People who breathe improperly suffer from heightened stress and anxiety. When you take 5 minutes out of your day to do this 3 Part Breathing Process, you’ll see a slew of health benefits almost immediately – but none more prominent than the reduction in your stress levels. Your blood pressure will stabilize and you’ll see reduced levels of stress hormones in your blood almost immediately.
Compare that to your cup of coffee which restricts the oxygen flow to your brain by up to 30% and impairs memory retention also.
Increase in Physical Energy
Breathing incorrectly through your mouth (like 40% of people do) causes many physical ailments, mainly to do with poor oxygenation of the blood. These include reduced oxygenation of cells and tissues in all vital organs of the human body, slouching, and muscular tension. Just 5 minutes of 3 Part Breathing can alleviate a lot of these problems.
By simply taking the time to breathe properly, you can reduce lactic acid buildup in muscle tissue (loosening up your slouched shoulders) and increase your focus. Compare that to your cup of coffee, which ultimately \saps your natural energy and leaves you with a temporary chemical stimulation that you quickly become addicted to.
Ditch That Cup and Get Breathing
It may seem strange, but that 5 minutes of breathing could set you up for the rest of the day much easier and much more efficiently than that cup of coffee. So why not try it out? You’ll avoid that coffee breath too!