Before we headed off on vacation we were thinking about the role our mental health plays in our career and life planning. If we learned anything in the past year it was that we needed to check in with ourselves to see how we were mentally and then zoom in on those things that were getting in our way.
The tools and stories below are a good place to start, but of course, if your situation feels overwhelming find a professional to guide you.
Please let us know what you think on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or reply to this email. Thanks! – Drew, Carole, and Jeff
On how breath affects anxiety
On Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviewed journalist James Nestor about his new book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. His research found that nose breathing can contribute to a calmer state of mind and decrease blood pressure levels.
He says, “I talked to a neuropsychologist … and he explained to me that people with anxieties or other fear-based conditions typically will breathe way too much. So what happens when you breathe that much is you’re constantly putting yourself into a state of stress. So you’re stimulating that sympathetic side of the nervous system.
And the way to change that is to breathe deeply. Because if you think about it, if you’re stressed out [and thinking] a tiger is going to come get you, [or] you’re going to get hit by a car, [you] breathe, breathe, breathe as much as you can. But by breathing slowly, that is associated with a relaxation response. So the diaphragm lowers, you’re allowing more air into your lungs and your body immediately switches to a relaxed state.”