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Don’t do this!

Kirsten Goodwin | Naked Confidence Coach

Today I want to talk to you about something we all do, every day, mostly unconsciously – but it is so crucial…

And that’s breathing! 💨 

You’ve probably heard of the “fight or flight” response – the common name for one of the two autonomic nervous systems in our body. 

That is the sympathetic nervous system, the one that kicks into action when we’re under threat: we breathe more quickly and our hearts beat faster to get more oxygen to our muscles, ready to react to the danger 💥

The other one, the parasympathetic nervous system (sometimes known as the “rest and digest” response), is the one that is activated when we are choosing calm – and as the name suggests, this one slows everything down, allowing our digestive system to work effectively 💫

When we struggle with that negative inner Imposter, we spend far too much time with our sympathetic nervous system activated, which can damage our mental and physical health, and ultimately lead to burnout 😩

So learning how to activate our (calming) parasympathetic nervous system is crucial! 🧡

And one of the most effective ways to do this through BREATHING 🌬

I recommend box breathing as a fantastically easy and effective way to activate your parasympathetic nervous system – breathe in for eg 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4, repeat…

But I learned so much more about the importance of breathing in the (entertaining, insightful) book “Breath” by James Nestor over my holiday.

So here are my two top takeaways for you…

1️⃣ Breathe through the nose 👃, never the mouth 😮‍💨

There is a huge amount of science behind this, plus it’s something that’s been practised in many communities around the world for centuries. 

In short, the nose is a very carefully designed organ, not just a bit of cartilage stuck on your face.  Use it! 

(And if you need further persuading, I recommend reading what happened to James after he experimented with 10 days of mouth-only breathing – his physical, mental & emotional deterioration was frightening… 😱)

So when you’re doing your box breathing (or any breathing!), do all breaths through the nose… 👃

2️⃣ Practice “resonant” or “coherent” breathing

This is a technique of breathing in for 5.5 seconds, then out for 5.5 seconds, repeating at least 10 times. 

(There are free apps you can use to help you with this timing – I use one called Paced Breathing.)

This is apparently the frequency at which the lungs, heart and circulation are operating at peak efficiency – and fascinatingly, many of the world’s religious traditions have prayer forms that actually follow this cadence (from Buddhist chanting to Catholics saying the rosary) 🙏

According to James Nestor:

“there is no more essential technique, and none more basic”. 

I now do this while driving home on the school run – it’s very easy to fit into your day, and you will be calming your nervous system and supporting your mental & physical wellbeing every time you do 😊💪 Which one are you going to try this week…? 😉✨ 

Wishing you a positive, productive, and BREATH-filled week! 😄🔥💪  

with much love 😊🧡

Kirsten xx

Kirsten Goodwin

The Naked Confidence™ Coach

Hired to help female leaders feeling the pain and pressure of their position. Transforming your Mindset AND Skillset 🔥 Banish your Imposter, and find your way, your confidence, & your edge.

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