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Breathing - Your Way to a Happier, Healthier and More Productive Work Life

Health coach Matt Ireland, who came in to speak to employees in Morgan McKinley London, shares techniques on how to breathe properly (you're probably not!) keeping both good posture and using this as a de-stressing technique.

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When it comes to improving your health, not many people take into consideration their breathing. Because we breathe so much, faulty breathing can lead to many problems you probably wouldn't have realised.faulty breathing can lead to many problems you probably wouldn't have realised

Our main respiratory muscles are in our core. Our second respiratory muscles are in our neck and shoulders. When we are breathing incorrectly our secondary muscles get overworked, this can lead to headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain.

Are you breathing correctly?

Before I go any further, I want to see if you are breathing correctly. So firstly stand up or sit down with good posture, that’s a straight spine. I want to place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach. Now take a few deep, slow breaths in, paying concentration whether your hand on your chest moves first, or the hand on your stomach moves first. 

Breath in, breathing out. Breathing in. Breathing out. Last time, breathing in, and breathing out.

If the hand on your chest moved first, you are like a majority of people that are breathing incorrectly. Now what should happen is as you are breathing in your diaphragm drops down. It collects your internal organs and gently pushes them further down into your stomach cavity. This allows more space in your rib cage for your lungs to fully expand with oxygen, oxygenating your blood. You may be thinking this sounds very interesting but...

What's This Got to Do with My Work and How is This Going to Improve My Day? 

Well, lots of people during the day, they take on too much. They may feel busy, stressed and they have a thousand thoughts running through their mind. By taking a few minutes out of your day to practise your breathing you will find the thoughts in your mind clear and it’s also true there is a deep relaxation response in your body. Therefore, you come back to work, more productive and more focused.taking a few minutes out of your day to practise your breathing you will find the thoughts in your mind clear

So now I am going to teach you how these breathing techniques work. Firstly stand or sit down with good posture. Place both hands over the side of your belly button. The reason why you do this is because when you touch an area of your skin, it excites it and draws your attention to there. What I want you to do as you breathe in, focus on letting your stomach expand into your hands. As you breathe out, you gently draw your belly button in towards your spine. This wakes up the main respiratory muscles in our core. So breathe in, allow your stomach to move into your hands. Breathe out, gentle draw your stomach into towards your spine. Now practise this for about five minutes.

Whilst you're concentrating on letting your stomach increase into your hands and decrease into your spine that stops the thoughts from entering your mind. The deep slow breathing triggers relaxation response so when you are finished your five minutes, you are going to come back and be a lot more productive and a lot more effective and get on with your day better.

  • Oct 31, 2016
  • Careers , Culture
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Lainey Gower

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