Banish Burnout with Breathwork
It’s no secret that the frenetic pace of daily life, the demands of balancing work and family, and the constant barrage of news alerts popping up on our phones, tablets, and other devices can be detrimental to our health and well-being. It seems like our society has become addicted to being busy and, as a result, more and more people are developing symptoms of burnout.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged periods of extreme stress. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unmotivated.
Here’s the good news. There is growing evidence that mind-body practices, such as breathwork, triggers the body’s relaxation responses, thereby reducing the effects of burnout and benefiting both our physical and mental well-being.
What Is Breathwork?
The term “breathwork” is used to describe various breathing exercises and techniques that incorporate deep, diaphragmatic breathing for a specific amount of time. The goal is focused, conscious awareness of each inhalation and exhalation. The idea is that by changing the patterns of the way we breathe; it is possible to restore balance to the body’s stress response system.
What Are the Benefits of Breathwork?
One of the biggest benefits of breathwork is that it has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone. When we’re under any type of stress, our cortisol levels increase. Short-term spikes in cortisol levels are a good thing because the hormone helps us deal with any type of stress, we’re under, whether it’s physical illnesses or injuries, or tight deadlines at work. However, having elevated cortisol levels for a prolonged period can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and insomnia.
When we breathe deeply and consciously, we shift out of a reactive state to a more mindful state of being. And when we’re not reactive, we’re better able think clearly, rationally, logically; we’re more compassionate and empathic because we’ve effectively turned down the activity volume in the part of the brain that triggers the stress response.
As a result, we start to do undo the effects of burnout. We become more resilient and adaptive in everyday life. We’re better equipped to deal with stressful situations. We feel more emotionally balanced and grounded. In fact, recent psychological studies show that maintaining a consistent breathwork practice three times a day can result in a long-term reduction in anxiety, depression, and overall stress.
How Can Breathwork Help Me?
Breathwork can help you in many ways. First and foremost, it can help you banish burnout. Beyond that, it can help you achieve a sense of inner peace, boost your confidence, improve concentration, enhance your immune system, and help you sleep better. Professionally and in business, breathwork can help boost your productivity, help you deal with difficult confrontations, and maintain the focus and energy to stay engaged in meetings. It can even combat the dreaded mid-afternoon energy crashes and prevent you from dashing out for that 3:00 p.m. coffee or candy bar. This is a win-win for your wallet, your waistline, and overall well-being.
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