When workdays fill up with meetings and project deadlines arrive, we easily feel overwhelmed and busy. As a natural consequence, we tend to get anxious and stressed – some more than others. In those situations, we either push even harder or we look for alternative ways to cope with it.

In the search of finding ways to relax the mind we can easily get overwhelmed by the many tips there are to find. While some people believe in doing yoga or practicing meditation others prefer to go for a walk, talk with a colleague or listen to music.

Whatever you decide to do, think about the power of breathing first! Breathing is one of our body’s most natural processes that keeps us alive. But, breathing also builds the link between our body and mind – it influences our ability to think and to function. In fact, it can have a positive influence on how we deal with pressure, stress and emotions.

We often tend to take short and rapid breaths when we’re stressed. However, by focusing on conscious breathing and taking deep and long breaths instead, we can actively regulate our emotions, keep calm and regain focus.

So, next time you find yourself being put under mental pressure, take a step back from your duties and control your breath by following this 5 minutes de-stress exercise:

  • Sit down comfortably, relax your shoulders and close your eyes.
  • Inhale through your nose for a count of two and hold the breath for a count of one.
  • Exhale gently counting out for four. Finish off by holding your breath out for a count of one.
  • Repeat these steps for about 5 min, breathing even and smooth.

Feel the difference in your mood and mind.

 We are the sports practice of global advisory firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe. We provide strategy and communication advice for sports clients around the world. For more information: www.bcw-sport.com