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Recently, as global financial markets were going crazy, we ordinary investors were being told to take a deep breath, sit tight, don’t sell, and above all, don’t panic. Now, as the economic downturn in China persists, we continue to be asked to hold our nerve and hope the dip is not contagious.

That advice brings little comfort.

Actually, while it sounds too simple to work, taking a deep breath is exactly what is needed right now. Literally. Informed decisions come from a calm state of mind and effective breathing techniques create the physiological foundations for making such decisions by helping us keep a cool, clear head.

Hold Your Nerve

Smooth, regular paced breathing improves cognitive function in the short and long term. It helps balance adrenalin and cortisol, (the chemicals of panic and threat) with acetylcholine and DHEA, (the chemicals of clear cognition). The Vagus nerve is the conduit for these chemicals, and if we can control panic and anxiety we are in effect ‘holding our (vagus) nerve.’ Nervous system control, or ‘vagal tone’ is improved and strengthened significantly by breathing practices. Think of these breathing practices as a workout for your nervous system.

How? By Using 10/10/10.

Let’s start exercising! If you use paced breathing techniques every day, for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening, in 10 days you’ll see significant results. Commutes are excellent times to practice. Click on the infographic below and see how easy it is to breathe.

Breathing Technique

Breathe in and out counting the in and the out breathe in a regular paced ratio e.g., four counts in, five counts out. It doesn’t matter what the numbers are, just be slow and steady.


• Smoothly

• Deeply

• Rhythmically

• Actively

Top performers in sport and the arts face enormous pressure. To improve their performance and manage this pressure they use effective breathing techniques like this as a daily practice. You may not face the same pressures as these professionals, but as the fluctuating markets have shown, we all encounter pressure. This breathing technique will allow you to face it, and improve your performance and decision making capacity during turbulent times and beyond.

About Companies In Motion

Transforming how organizations learn and engage, Companies In Motion (CIM) supports your and your organisation’s overall performance.

Many organizations are moving away from the traditional Performance Management models to something more innovative and meaningful. In response to this change, Learning and Development teams are implementing Physical Intelligence programs that support performance across the curriculum: leadership, innovation, change management, team building, sales, negotiating, and more.

At CIM we are working with organizations globally that want to create a new performance dynamic. Join us. Improve your decision making capacity, even when there is uncertainty.

Contact CIM for more information on how Physical Intelligence can support performance across your company.

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