You are an electrical being, as your body is converting fuel inputs into electrical energy your brain runs on. There are three primary inputs, water, food and oxygen.
It’s no surprise oxygen provides 70% or more of the energy your body needs to create this electricity for your brain to run on. Most people die within 10 minutes of oxygen deprivation. One can go a few days without water and weeks without food, but oxygen is critical to life. So, learning to improve your oxygen uptake is going to improve your performance and your health.
Now we are going to learn how to maximize that oxygen inflow and give your brain and heart all it needs to function at a peak level! Let’s start with some science…
Your lungs have over 300 million tiny air sacs called alveoli. These sacs exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. Most people vastly underutilize their lungs, taking in shallow, rapid breaths engaging a small fraction of their alveoli.
To illustrate this, all your alveoli could cover a tennis court. However, the way most of us breathe all day would cover a dining table. This means we are significantly short-changing our oxygen intake capacity, forcing your heart to work more to supply the brain with oxygen.
When you learn to consciously breathe, utilizing more of your alveoli, oxygen levels increase in the brain and your heart rate variability improves, making your heart much more adaptable to changing situations. This drives higher resilience and coping with life’s difficulties.
Here is how to breathe…
Place your hand on your lower stomach area and breathe in. You should feel your stomach area expand out, not your chest. This clears the way for your lungs to expand and get the greatest amount of oxygen in. At the top of your breath, hold the oxygen in for a two-count.
Then, exhale slowly over 3-4 seconds. You do this by pulling your stomach in past flat into your core and holding it for a two-count. This pushes the carbon dioxide out.
So, inhale 1-2-3-4 hold 1-2, exhale 1-2-3-4, hold 1-2 and repeat. Remember, take your chest out of it and use your stomach. We suggest you get a breathing pacer app and set it to these counts. A longer count on the intake than exhale is associated with focus. If you want to relax to calm down or sleep, emphasize a little longer exhale.
Practice your breathing when you wake up, whenever you feel stressed, and at bedtime for 5 minutes each day. If you do this consistently, you will begin to feel the benefits of greater calm.
Life is perpetually getting in the way. Stressful events never end. What matters, what we want to teach you is how to notice your body and state are changing and react in a way that re-centers you.
Breathing is the key to reacting properly to life’s events while maintaining optimal health and focus.
So, when things are getting tense in an exchange at work, in a meeting, at home or something like a death or health concern has you stressed…breathe!
If you work with the team at Tiger, you will learn to know how it feels to be in sympathetic response. You’ll understand just how bad that is for you to remain there chronically. We teach you how to get out of it by breathing.
So, when life stresses you, scares you, worries you…stop, close your eyes, and breathe for 5-10 minutes and literally feel it drain out of your body. Making this a habit will transform how you live, feel and react to life!
Breathing to expand HRV is your tool for life.