Breathing is my secret work weapon

Carol Baubock, global brand and corporate marketing director, Bupa, believes that taking a deep breath can help you stabilise and refocus.

It is daunting to have to describe your ‘secret weapon’ several columns after the usual suspects have been covered. Writing this also made me realise how little I depend on stuff; not in a ‘shunning possessions’ way, but more an ‘I don’t have a favourite bag, pen, notebook, watch or lucky shoes – should I?’ one.

Hence I have opted for one thing I seem to have with me all the time, although often I lose sight of it: a deep breath. Since joining Bupa two years ago, I have become more aware of the physiology of human bodies.

Did you know that when you get stressed you start breathing from less than 30% of your lung capacity, resulting in light-headedness and reduced concentration? In my simplistic interpretation, that says to me: ‘When your brain is getting stupid, your body helps it get stupider.’

It’s no mystery why so many programmes aimed at superior physical and mental outcomes – from pilates to mindfulness – rely on patterns of deep and purposeful breathing.

So whether I’m sitting behind a taxi driver more intent on greeting colleagues on the road than getting to the airport, or realising a link that was just sent to our leadership team has fabulously malfunctioned despite weeks of testing, it never ceases to amaze me how stabilising, regenerating and physiologically fabulous a deep breath can be.

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