MANAGE STRESS BY FOCUSING ON YOUR BREATH

The Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review

Like any other leadership capacity, stress management requires self-awareness. Leaders who manage stress effectively are able to recognize signs that they’re approaching their tipping point and consciously, deliberately step back from the edge. The next time you notice your stress levels increasing, take a moment to notice your breath. Start with a couple of strong, long, and deep breaths. Notice the physical sensations that accompany each one. After taking a few of these initial breaths, switch to a technique called “resonant breathing.” Inhale for 10 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds, for a total of six breaths per minute. You may find it helpful to do this while walking; the pace of your steps can provide a regular tempo for each breath. Eventually the rhythm will continue on its own and you can stop timing. Continue to breathe in and out until your state of mind shifts and you feel a sense of control over your emotions.

Adapted from “A Simple Way to Combat Chronic Stress,” by Alexander Caillet, Jeremy Hirshberg, and Stefano Petti