6 Breath Practices for a Stressful Day at Work

Try these pranayama techniques at your desk to feel centered and calm when your job gets hectic.
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Mindful breathing. Breath practices.

When things start to feel out of control, one of the simplest things you can do to calm your nervous system and improve your state of mind is to take a few moments to shift your focus to your breath.

Work is often a huge source of stress in our lives. Whether you’re trying to meet unrealistic deadlines, manage a high workload, or handle a conflict with a boss or co-worker, it can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking.

When things start to feel out of control at work, one of the simplest things you can do to calm your nervous system and improve your state of mind is to take a few moments to shift your focus to your breath. Better yet, take five for pranayama, or breathwork, right at your desk. Pranayama, which means controlling your breath and its energies, can be a powerful reset for your body and mind.

See also 30 Yoga Sequences to Reduce Stress

Research suggests that a regular pranayama practice can improve brain health and attention, which means you’ll be better able to tackle the tasks and challenges ahead.

Typically, your breath will become more shallow and rapid when you’re feeling stressed. So, it’s best to use the pranayama techniques that slow down your breath in order to quiet your mind, improve concentration, and ease anxiety, stress, or agitation.

See also Yoga for Stress and Burnout

To help you manage the daily grind, here are six breathing practices to try at the office when you’re having a rough day. 

These pranayama exercises are not just limited to work-related stress, but also are applicable to other areas where stress might come up in your life. So, practice as little or as often as you like. The time you take to focus on your breath also gives you the space to gain clarity and return to a more neutral state of well-being