Boost business performance by blocking out stress and anxiety through breathing
Editor’s note: This is the sixth installment of an eight part series entitled “Self-Awareness for the Emerging Entrepreneur” part 1 Refining the Art of Saying Yes or No, part 2: 4 Tips to Achieve Positive Habits, part 3: 4 Language Shifts for Success, part 4: Identifying Patterns in Self Talk- 3 Scenarios
part 5: Managing the Company You Keep, part 6: 3 Strategies to Cope with the Impostor Syndrome
I love when I get to blend the other loves of my life like sports and physical wellness into my coaching work. Just like I coach my water polo players that managing their breathing is an important factor to the success of their shot, I also tell my Life Coaching and Leadership clients that managing their breathing is important to their every day success. Here are three ways that being mindful about your breathing can be an asset to you:
1. 5 minutes in the morning, 5 in the evening
How often do you find yourself saying “Am I too busy”?
As you build your business, and you’re giving it your all. The day starts and it’s go-go-go. I invite you to incorporate 10 minutes of deep breathing into your daily schedule . You can do five minutes in the morning before you get out of bed or while driving to work and in another 5 minutes in the evening lying in bed preparing for sleep. This exercise is particularly helpful for those dealing with anxiety.
Here is what to do:
Take a slow inward deep breath. When you feel you have reached your maximum inhale point, pause and then inhale just a bit more, then hold it for a couple of seconds. Follow the same routine exhaling- exhale as slow as you can until you feel you have hit your maximum exhale point. Then exhale just a bit more. Do it gently, be mindful to breathe until you engage your abdomen, not just your chest.
Repeat the process for five minutes. Make this routine a daily habit. By starting and ending your day with this easy, quick exercise you'll reduce your stress, increase blood circulation and oxygen to the brain.
2. Breathe mindfully when speaking to a group
Public speaking is one of the most feared activities for many people. I often see people lead their speaking with fear and nervousness. I invite you to begin public speaking with a focus on breathing.
Use these steps to catch your breath in these critical moments:
- Before you start talking. When you arrive to your “stage” (could be the space you are pitching your business), before you begin talking allow yourself a few seconds to take a deep breath. Allow yourself to feel the breath in your body. Feel your feet on the ground. Feel the lightness in your body. Just a few seconds goes a long way.
- After you’ve made a critical point. Allowing yourself a moment for a mindful breath just after making a critical point allows you and your audience to “be” with that information. It allows them to process what they are hearing and it allows you a moment for re-balance.
- Anytime you feel yourself talking too fast or getting off track. Let me remind you – your audience wants you to be successful. So, they’ll wait patiently for you to take a second to realign. You can pause, breathe and continue talking when you are ready. You are human and your audience knows so; they will continue right along with you when you restart.
About the author
Liz is a Speaker, Life Coach and Leadership Trainer with Stay Limitless, which she founded in 2011. Liz has been coaching and developing leaders for over 12 years, 10 of those working in the educational non-profit arena. She has guided and overseen the development of over 1,000 leaders. Liz recently served as a Group Facilitator for the Latina Global Executive Leadership Program founded by negotiation expert Dr. Yasmin Davidds and run in partnership with the USC Marshall School of Business. Liz is a former member of the Boards of Directors for the California Latino Caucus Institute’s Madrinas Padrinos Leadership Program and the National Latina Business Women Association – LA Chapter. Liz has a Bachelors in Sociology from San Jose State University and a Masters in Education from Harvard University. You can find more about Liz and sign up for her free newsletter.Website