By Paul Nijar
The demands from our work and family lives are very high these days. As managers and spouses lean over our shoulders, we find it difficult to focus and to de-stress. Our lives are almost like marathon races where we always finish last. So how does one cope?
“Can I have a double double with extra whip cream and 2 spoons of sugar?”
In order to keep up, we may find ourselves waiting in line for a morning coffee. Coffee has been the leading prescription for our lack of energy and focus for the heavy day. This is interesting because studies have shown that the caffeine actually increases one’s level of stress for the day. Our day becomes a downward spiral of chaos and anxiety!
Whoosaa! Breathe in. Breathe out!
Help is here! Breathing is such a blessing that many of us have neglected to see the riches it holds.
Life and death both start and end with breath.
How can something so valuable go unnoticed? This is because breathing is part of the Autonomic Nervous System; it occurs without us having to think about it.
“So if I don’t have to think about it, why are you telling me about it?”
The more we are able to focus on our breath, the more we are able to find that level of peace we so desperately need. Many yogi’s practise deep breathing in a seated pose in order to bring a deep sense of peace, relaxation and clarity. This is something that many modern people find boring.
“So what else can we do?”
Although we run marathons throughout our day, we are not enhancing our lung function. Nothing brings a greater sense of well-being more than exercise itself. As we exert ourselves beyond our normal range, our lungs are forced to work harder.
“So are you saying, when I workout my newly toned body will decrease the level of stress for the day?”
Well duhh! Not only will you look sexy and fine, but your stress levels will diminish. With the added influx of oxygen that travels to the brain, there is much to gain.
Typically people only breathe in the top 1/3 of their lungs. This is very shallow breathing. This is detrimental to our health because the toxins that we breathe in from our environment do not leave the body. The filth that is collected through the air we breathe will then settle inside the body bringing a buffet of health conditions.
All you can breathe buffets are now open!
The lungs are the number one defense against external pathogens. When the lungs are in fine working condition, the whole body and mind benefits. Exercise encourages a proper function of the lungs. When we exert ourselves through physical activity the lungs are forced to work extra hard. The lungs are forced to work harder and to release the toxins that may be residing in the body.
The brain is the most important organ you have…according to the brain.
The brain becomes invigorated and rejuvenated. Much of our sleepiness and lack of focus or brain fog comes from an inadequate amount of oxygen reaching the brain. A brain becomes severely damaged after about 5-10 minutes of not breathing. More oxygen gives you greater clarity and focus. This adds to greater productivity at work as you are able to sit and focus on a project at hand better.
Your body and boss will love you for your fitness!
As we take on this healthy lifestyle we are putting a great investment into our overall well-being. Your libido increases. You have better sleep. You are able to manage your mood fluctuations better. And your level of stress and anxiety drastically decreases.
Bicep curling your textbooks makes you smarter!
The extra oxygen feeds your brain so its function becomes enhanced. Studies from the University of British Columbia show that when you exert your body to have a mild sweat, it stimulates the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that helps with learning and memory! So essentially you are getting smarter every time your body odor increases through physical activity.
Your coffee break it over!
Rather than relying on different stimulants to get your body moving every day, try trading your coffee cup for a pair of gym shoes. Not only will your level of stress and weight go down, but you become smarter in the process. With the gym shoes you will have greater chance of taking home the win in the marathon of your life.
Our guest blogger-Paul Nijar- is the creator of Yoga Do and the author of “Everything I Thought I was & What I Came to Be”
Check out his debut book, “Everything I Thought I was & What I Came to Be” here
Watch his fantastic Yoga Do Intro video!