Reduce Your Stress Levels With Breathing Techniques

Ice baths, hot yoga, float tanks, the list goes on. We are always searching for the latest bio hack that is going to help us perform at our optimum levels. Be that physical performance, sleep, or recovery. However, often we find that it’s the simple things have the greatest effect. 

Human beings are born with the tools to be effective and battle through the challenges that life throws at us. However, more often than not, we are far too inclined to reach for a supplement or quick fix to help us perform better, or recover more effectively.

Now, what if I said I have the latest supplement that would guarantee to help lower your stress levels and improve your active state. And, it’s totally FREE. Interested?

It’s called breathing

The main purpose of effective breathing techniques (made famous by the Wim Hof method) is to induce a hypometabolic state. Basically placing your body in a resting and restorative state. Note: chilling on the sofa watching Netflix does not do this! When you allow your body to enter this state, is when the real magic starts to happen. And, this is why breathing has been such an integral part of the ancient teachings of yoga and meditation.

I caught up with breathing coach, Desiree Ferrari, to ask some of the important questions surrounding her specialist subject.

What does a typical client look like to you?

Everyone breaths differently. We all have a unique breath, much like a fingerprint, largely because our lives are all so different. It’s certainly something that people take for granted and will overlook. I work with a lot of male clients ranging from 30-45 years old, typically business men with well paid and stressful jobs. They certainly look after themselves and are interested in getting the best from their lives. However, they all talk about a feeling of emptiness and are seeking inner satisfaction and balance.

I also work a lot with men with drug addictions who are coming to me as a holistic element alongside their rehab process. Often it’s drug and alcohol that’s being used to suppress feelings and emotions. Breathing can help to release in a very different way.

What are the core benefits?

Breathing provides 3 key areas of core benefits: Physical, Mental and Spiritual.

Physically, you will benefit from an increase in oxygen throughout the body and therefore, an increase in the balance and flow of energy. It’s something that you’ll feel take effect after just one session, although like most things you’ll get the best results from a programme of around 5 sessions.

On a mental level, breathing helps you to become more self-aware. My clients have spoken to me about how it’s helped them to overcome negative emotions, depression and often even alleviating the mental effects of a trauma.

On a spiritual level, you’ll certainly feel an expansion of your awareness, an acceptance of yourself for who you are, and an opening to love and joy.

When would you typically practice the techniques?

Initially, when you’re learning transformational breathing techniques, I recommend that you find time out from your daily life. Perhaps at the weekend or a day off from work, so that you can really get the best from the first couple of sessions. It simply allows you to focus, without thinking of rushing off to your next meeting or drinks with friends after work.

The first few sessions are usually around 2.5 hours, as we spend time coaching before moving onto a focused breathing session. We round up with an evaluation discussion. Once you get to the 3rd session and beyond we spend less time in discussion, so they are usually around 90 minutes. But, I do adapt to the client's needs, and some sessions have been much longer.

Once you’ve learnt the techniques at these sessions, you can then incorporate it into your own routine. Making time to feel relaxed and clam afterward so that you can really enjoy the peace it will bring to the body. You won’t want to be rushing anywhere after a focused session of transformational breathing.

How does breathing affect stress levels?

There’s a reason people say ‘take a few deep breaths’ when you’re angry or emotional. And it’s because our body needs oxygen which it then releases as carbon dioxide which is poisonous to the body. Breathing deeply and with purpose helps to cleanse the body, release tension and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Returning your body to a relaxed state.  

What are the overall health benefits of breathing correctly?

The health benefits of breathing correctly are vast! More oxygen in the system helps reduces disease, can alleviate headaches and is fantastic for asthma. Anaerobic diseases cannot grow in oxygenated cells, so we need to ensure we’re getting a plentiful supply of oxygen into our system.

Breathing also helps with detoxifying the cells, improving lymphatic drainage and aiding digestive issues, as examples. You’ll find that oxygenating cells release memory stored in cells as pain too.

But it’s also a mental benefit, helping you to be more aware of your body. More aware of your self. And, you’ll find you are in check of your emotions and reactions as well, simply through good quality breathing.

How can we incorporate more effective breathing throughout our working day?

It can be as simple as just noticing our breath. We often forget about breathing, as our body will do it naturally for us. So we just let it get on with it. But, taking a few minutes to be conscious of our breath is a great start. Breathing in all the way to the belly, the inhale breath should be an expansion which makes the belly rise. Exhaling the breath makes the belly sink right into your back.

If you can find 5 minutes for peace, close your eyes and open your mouth - as it will allow more oxygen to go much deeper into the body - breath deeply as outlined above and count to 100. It’s a great way to feel calmer and full of life.

Big breaths, forming a nice big belly will bring you a big life!

As a child, Desiree Ferrari Transformational Breath coach, grew up in the bush in Botswana with bore water and generators for electricity. Her dream was to be in a Big city. After working for many years in the fashion industry, she realised that if you weren’t happy on the inside then it didn’t really matter how expensive the outfit you wore on the outside. Inner happiness became her mission and she’s been practicing transformational breath for the past 8 years.

Connect with Desiree Ferrari on LinkedIn or Facebook 

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