When we travel on business our bodies become disoriented, says breath coach, Alan Dolan
Breathing exercises are just the tonic for business travelers who take long haul flights and struggle with busy schedules when they’re away from home.
Because the bodies regular schedule changes as they cross different time zones, a traveler’s circadian rhythm becomes confused and out of sync. Jet lag can also lead to long term sleep problems.
Similarly, when business travelers don’t feel grounded or comfortable at their new destinations, this can impact their mental and physical health.
With the above in mind, learning safe and easy breathing exercises for stress relief en route is definitely worth it.
Doing breathing exercises or breathing deeply and consciously in a controlled way has long been said to offer people a form of stress relief. It promotes physical and emotional wellbeing whereby we can connect better with ourselves, feel relaxed and less tense.
Whenever someone feels stress they may experience an increased heart rate, high blood pressure and breathe faster. Whenever they stay still, concentrate on their breath and breathe deeply, this sends a message to the brain to calm down and relax.
In turn this message is transferred to the body which will begin to slow down the breathing and reduce the heart rate.
Business travelers aside and a survey released in January 2017 by the American Psychological Association showed stress was on the increase nationally.
In fact, the “Stress in America” survey revealed that stress levels increased on a 10 point scale from 4.8 to a 5.1 over the past year.
Breathing exercises such as belly breathing and roll breathing have been around for centuries for stress relief. Today breathing consciously or ‘Breathwork’ has become one of the most powerful ways to bring oxygen and energy into our bodies so we can heal and relax on demand and as needed.
And thanks to breath experts such as Alan Dolan, this method of relieving stress and balancing the mind and body is now available to all.
‘Conscious Breathwork and breathing exercises provide a mechanism for rebalancing our overworked and stressed out systems. ’ Says Breathing Space founder and breath coach, Alan Dolan.
‘Conscious Breathwork is based on the premise that our bodies have a natural ability to bring us back into equilibrium using our breath as the means to re-calibrate.
‘For those wishing to experience tangible positive results a daily practice is recommended.
‘For stress relief, some people like to do a twice daily practice or breathing exercises.’
Overall, Breathwork or ‘Conscious Breathing’ is said to:
- De-stress: Breathwork and breathing exercises helps to release old mental and/or emotional energy which got filed away in the system. Stress is in effect a state of bodily contraction during which the body finds it difficult to process mental emotional energy so it simply files away the ´ baggage´ until such time as its possible. When we practice Conscious Breathing we go into a very relaxed space so much so that the emotional filing cabinet can be accessed and spring-cleaned.
- Energize: Breath is life and quite literally fuels our bodies. Think of it as a vehicle which transports oxygen and energy into and around our bodily at the most profound level possible.
- Enhance Sleep: For those of us who have busy minds (IE everyone) Conscious Breathwork provides a quick and easy way of putting our bodies into sleep mode as described above.
Today Alan brings his Conscious Breathing techniques and breathing exercises to clients in private 1-1 sessions in London, Dublin and Brazil, as well as in groups or ‘retreats’ at his luxury and peaceful Breathing Space villa in Lanzarote.
The breathing exercises and techniques he teaches are safe and easy to do, whilst anyone can reap the stress relieving benefits just like he has.
‘Conscious Breathing brought the magic and mystery that I experienced as a child back into my adult life.’ Reveals the former PR manager.
‘Life had become very black and white for me and I was on a career trajectory which was mostly about perceived status and money.
‘I’d lived with depression since my early teens and had got by using tobacco and alcohol but once I discovered Breathwork my 20-30 cigarettes a day habit ceased.
‘My alcohol consumption reduced massively and I cleared the depression in 12 weeks.
‘That was fourteen years ago and since then I’ve continued to refine and no longer do caffeine and I’m mainly vegetarian.’
Over the last decade Alan’s successes in offering stress relief and transforming his clients lives through Breathwork have been many.
Examples have included women who are overworked and who haven’t prioritized their own wellbeing over getting ahead in their careers.
‘One client hadn’t taken a proper (as in going away vacation) for years.’ Explains Alan.
‘To get by and ´switch off´ at the end of the day she was self-medicating with alcohol and junk food.
‘Her energy levels were not good and she didn’t know how to break out of the cycle.
‘Cut to three months later after doing a few 1-1 session of Conscious Breathwork and adopting a daily practice she was feeling great, had significantly reduced self-medication levels and rather wonderfully had decided to take a 6 month sabbatical traveling in Asia to make up for ‘all the holidays I didn’t´t take.’
‘I’m not suggesting we should all drop our careers and head off backpacking, however it was GREAT to see how this person had re-prioritized her own needs and wellbeing over all other elements in her life.’
Alan has also recently released a breathing app which suits professionals who want to incorporate breathing exercises into their business travel for stress relief on the go.
This breathing app includes easy-to-follow instructional videos and short, manageable guided breathing sessions and breathing exercises which meet the needs of the stressed executive who travels often.
‘I want to get Conscious Breathwork out there to as many people as possible hence investing a lot of time and effort in creating the BreathGuru App.
‘I truly believe that this most powerful of tools has the potential to change the world and feel my role is to make sure people are a) aware of it and b) able to have a direct experience for themselves .
‘Business travelers who use this breathing app can find time time to watch the concise instructional video clips which contextualize and explain the ´how to’ of the technique.
‘With this breathing app they can then go to the 10-minute guided audio session and enjoy a test-drive making sure to spend a few minutes after the practice simply observing how the body is feeling and whether there are any discernible changes as a result.
‘The technique itself is both an energizer for our systems and also a de-stressor so for most people they find it useful to do the short 10 minute practice on waking and than again at the end of one´s day prior to sleep.
‘The AM practice on the breathing app will boost levels of oxygen and energy within the system and the PM will tend to take the excess energy most of us carry in our heads and redistribute it to lower down in the electrical system – I.E it will ground us.
‘The breathing app also has a 30 minute guided audio which is perfect for weekends or whilst traveling.’
Photography courtesy of Alan Dolan, BreathGuru, Jonathan Perugia at jpfoto.com & Shutterstock.com