Breathe Your Entrepreneurial Dreams to Life!
Breath is the most underutilized tool for success… and wellness. We have to do it to stay alive and yet, the tool remains untapped in the lungs of stressed out entrepreneurs all over the globe. Entrepreneurship is on the rise…and so are stress levels. Taking charge of our mindset, mood and perspective is more important than ever because entrepreneurial life is all consuming. The constant digital stimulation of even a routine day requires diligent intervention for emotional and physical well-being.
There’s an SOS signal from entrepreneurs that I’m hearing loud and clear from speaking at events, being part of entrepreneurial groups and panels, attending trade shows and consulting with solopreneurs to big corporate brands. It’s a collective call for help that has reached the boiling point from years of distraction and overwhelm stemming from the new revolution of technology in business and life.
Our minds are constantly distracted, our attention spans are severely shortened, we want everything on demand, our in boxes are never empty, our energy is frequently negative, we’re addicted to social media, we’re sleep deprived and anxious. Whew! This cannot and should not be the new normal.
Breath can heed the call! Breath is meditation at the speed of entrepreneurial life.
We need to take control back from technology. We can decide to choose how we feel during the day. It’s up to each of us to set some boundaries and those can be set with breath though self awareness; building a keen sense of when our minds are racing, when we’re multi-tasking, when we’re making important decisions from a place of chaotic haste. We can begin to stop the madness with just three deep breaths.
Breath connects our mind with our body which allows us to be more in sync with how we think and feel. It’s science, not abstract mystical yoga philosophy. When we upgrade our breath from the standard shallow default breath, we actually connect to the part of the brain that controls our emotion.
In a November 2017 article in Quartzy, Northwestern University Professor Moran Cerf shares the science behind a study on the power of even one deep breath, “This recent study finally answers these questions by showing that volitionally controlling our respiration, even merely focusing on one’s breathing, yield additional access and synchrony between brain areas. This understanding may lead to greater control, focus, calmness, and emotional control.”
Breath vs. Meditation
Breathing mindfully is a powerful and very efficient tool for both success and wellness. It’s especially powerful when you attach an intention or positive thought to the breath. Breath practice has no barrier to entry; it’s always available, it’s fast, effective and it’s free! Meditation is awesome but often it’s not accessible to fast paced entrepreneurs — in fact, even the idea of sitting quietly and being still for an extended period can actually induce anxiety. I know that firsthand and after 29 years of breath practice, I still prefer the impact of short mindful breath sessions to long session meditation.
Breath allows entrepreneurs to experience the benefits of meditation intermittently throughout the day and in their own individualized way. Similar to entrepreneurship — where no two journeys are the same; there are as many unique ways to utilize the power of breath and the benefits are not only immediate but also long term.
In a January 2018 New York Times article titled Want a Better Workout? Just Breath, Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford University, Andrew D. Huberman says, “Breathwork can be thought of as exercise in that, if done correctly, has immediate benefits — physical, emotional and cognitive — but breathwork also has longer-term benefits if you do it regularly.” “The idea is that people can alter and strengthen the neural pathways that link breathing with emotion regulation centers in the brain, which can help them feel calmer and more alert, and sleep better, depending on the protocols they use.”
I’ve been utilizing breath techniques to actually ‘breathe my dreams to life’ since 1989 when I began to practice yoga. It was through my disdain for ‘Sivasana,’ (AKA corpse pose, the last pose in a yoga class where you lie still ) that I actually learned the value of stillness and deep breath. I was known as the girl who left class before Sivasana because quite frankly, I had no respect for stillness.
My yoga teachers began to ask me why I was skipping ‘the most important pose of the class.’ I didn’t want to disrespect them or practice, so I began to figure out a way to understand Sivasana. After a while…that one deep breath that I took to get myself to settle in each time actually was enough to ease me into the beauty of stillness, a place I had never been before. I began to see the power of one deep breath and I wanted to bring that Sivasana feeling off the mat and into my business and daily life. That’s where the magic began. If one deep breath could make me get still and focused, I wondered what else I could accomplish with it.
Breath gave me the strength to go into one more (effing) sewing factory after I was completely exhausted but needed to find a manufacturing partner that could do the job well. Breath gave me the confidence to call up big chain store buyers when I really wasn’t sure how I’d make it all work. Breath gave me the clarity and strength to figure it out when they actually said yes! Breath gave me the patience I needed to deal with obstacles, mistakes and challenges.
Breath upgrades everything that you want to focus on and manifest such as creativity, patience, clarity, calm, confidence and wellness. We should consider breath to be equally as important to our health as our food and exercise choices.
Breath is a practice that can feel fresh and new every day because each day brings new challenges on the proverbial entrepreneurial roller coaster ride.
You Can Begin Now!
Breath can make us be the best version of ourselves by managing our energy, attitude and mindset. You can begin by simply taking three deep breaths. Introduce your mind and body through those inhales and exhales. Feel the connection. Close your eyes and it multiplies the power by turning immediately inward.
It’s never too late to rewire your brain and begin this healthy habit but until it becomes second nature, you can program reminders. You can do your three deep breaths while driving, waiting in line, before an important call or meeting, grocery shopping, right before you got to sleep and right when you wake up.
Breath helps me perform at my optimal level and keeps me positive, persistent and energetic. Don’t waste another day with that plain ol’ breath while a powerful tool sits dormant inside your body. Deep breaths feel like the mind and body are holding hands and smiling. Stillness is fuel for the soul.
Tap into the power of your breath and breathe your goals and dreams to life! Namaste.