The mental health crisis we’re facing goes beyond providing self care stipends for employees. The #1 way I’ve found to increase my own mental well-being as well as those around me is by regulating my nervous system through BREATHWORK.
Now, before we dive into how self regulation can improve one’s mental health; let’s look at the hard truths around this current mental health crisis.
- 39% workers report that their work environment has had a negative impact on their mental health, according to APA’s 2022 Work and Well-being Survey.
- 91% of employees think that their leaders lack communication skills (Haiilo).
- Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 53% of employees report feeling more exhausted, 75% feel more socially isolated, and 57% feel greater anxiety (Harvard Business Review).
- 130 Suicide attempts a day (AFSP)
- Suicide has increased 35% over the past 20 years (AFSP)
- Suicide: 2nd Leading Cause of death between ages 10-24 (AFSP)
SOLUTION: Establish Meaningful Connection With Oneself & Others
As it relates to the workplace alone, according to the World Health Organization, “depression and anxiety alone cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year in lost productivity”. This lost productivity is a result of employees frequently absent from work. Whether it be physically absent or mentally checked out and not able to perform to the best of their ability. In 2022, “the great resignation” hit the global economy by storm with 4 million Americans quitting their jobs each month in 2022 (Zippia).
At this point, we can all agree that we are facing a mental health crisis and it’s our as leaders in business to provide the tools & resources to take care of ourselves and those around us. I believe that the most crucial aspect for businesses is not just offering experiences and material perks to foster a healthy and positive workplace culture, but rather prioritizing the well-being and self-care of employees and we can do so by educating ourselves about how to regulate our nervous system.
Let’s face it, we aren’t able to show up as our best self if we’re not taking care of ourselves. Too often we find ourselves pouring our hearts out to support our families and within our projects. And what’s left? NOTHING …
Literally, we’re a society running of fumes because in Truth we’re collectively burnt out. If you want to take care of yourself there’s simply one thing you can do to balance your energetic state …
REGULATE YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
Your nervous system is the electrical network of your body and there are two main aspects to it that are essential to understanding.
1) Parasympathetic Nervous System: This represents rest and digest. When you activate your parasympathetic nervous system you’ll feel at ease, clear-minded and emotionally stable.
2) Sympathetic Nervous System: This represents fight or flight. When you’re sympathetic nervous system is activated you may feel stress, anxiety, overtaken, panic and scattered. And unfortunately many of us are running on our sympathetic nervous system the majority of the time. The reason for this is due to our busy and fast-paced lifestyles. Our sympathetic nervous system is a survival function and we should not be running on survival mode the majority of our lives.
The practice of BREATHWORK teaches you to calm your nervous system and to activate your parasympathetic nervous system when needed.
Here are just but some of the benefits of BREATHWORK:
– Reduces stress and anxiety
– Increases energy
– Boosts immune system
– Improves mood and self esteem
– Improves sleep
– Helps manage depression
– Improves focus
– Increases creativity
– Increases understanding & compassion
– Allows for more effective communication
THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT
The most efficient way to practice breathwork is the cyclic sigh. Stanford Health did a study of a variety of breathwork modalities and meditation styles and they found that the participants doing the “cyclic sigh” (or physiological sigh) was the most efficient to relieve anxiety and stress.
You simply inhale through your nose … all the way up, sip in a bit more air through your nose (as much as you can), and through your mouth slowly exhale.
Repeat for 5 minutes a day – it’s that simple!
Here’s a video that explains and shows a demo.
This article would not be complete without talking about breathwork journeys.
A Breathwork journey is an extended period of time to commit to your breath with the aim of mimicking a stress response (activating sympathetic nervous system) with the intention of giving yourself this gift to express what stored and unprocessed traumas reside in your body. You’re literally getting yourself out of the way and letting your body express itself in an array of emotions from anger, grief, sadness, joy, and even ecstasy.
It’s important to note that comparing traumas is a losing battle. We all experience trauma and to compare your trauma with another is to rob yourself of feeling what you’ve experienced and in so doing so letting it store in the body.
Emotions are energy in motion and the body has a 90 second physiological response to process emotions. If you’re not feeling your emotions during the time they come up, then unfortunately those emotions get trapped in your cells and that is likely why you may be feeling lethargic, depressed, ridden with anxiety and stressed and just overall overwhelmed.
THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT
Breathwork journeys should not be practiced alone. If you are knew to this, I highly recommend seeking out a local practitioner. I am a certified “Somatic Breathwork” facilitator and I also very much recommend “Transformational Breath”. Both of these practices are trademarked styles of breathwork that certify facilitators all over the world. You could simply just google “somatic breathwork near me” to find a local practitioner.
That said, the main thing to note about breathwork journeys is you are completely safe. It’s imperative to feel a resonance with your facilitator and to feel space within the container. Safety is of the utmost importance when addressing trauma work.
If you’re ready to reclaim your energy and boost your mood consistently, WATCH THIS VIDEO which will walk you through practical breathwork exercises & techniques you can use daily to alleviate stress & anxiety.
If you’re interested in working on 1:1 or in a collaborative event, send an email to me directly at Sam@SamKabert.com.
Thank you for taking the time to commit to yourself to show up for yourself.
One step at a time. It’s not easy, but it is simple and it’s more accessible with community. Click here or send me an email (Sam@SamKabert.com) if you’re interested in hearing more about my private container doing this deep work together 🙏🏽