From Guest Writer George Loan Baker, Fortune Management:

During a recent coaching call, a discussion that began with time management and making more space in the day led my client to an exasperating “if I only had a minute to breathe”. That got me thinking.

Adults breathe, on average, 16 times a minute, 960 times an hour, 23,040 times a day. We breathe a lot.

Many of the self-help folks have espoused the link of breathing to mindfulness. Oprah and Deepak Chopra have programs for this and Seattle Seahawks Quarterback, Russell Wilson, has a meditation coach. Dan Harris of ABC News has a book, 10% Happier, that does a great job of breaking down the history and benefits of meditation and mindful breathing. So, mindful breathing is the new thing. Or is it?

Feeling the sensations caused by the movements of the breath in the body was originally taught by Gautama Buddha in the year 04 CE (AD for the less PC). The Buddha further taught that mindfulness followed by analysis and persistence, which leads to rapture, then to serenity, which in turn leads to deeper concentration and then to the evenness of mind especially under stress. Finally, the Buddha taught that, with these factors developed in this progression, the practice of mindful breathing would lead to a final blessed state marked by the absence of desire or suffering.

In 1983 during basic firefighter training, I was taught to take 3 second breaths in and 3 seconds out when using a self-contained breathing apparatus. If I allowed the rapid breathing brought on by the fight or flight response to take over my thirty minute rated air tank might only last ten minutes. That would only get me 5 minutes to get in and 5 minutes to get out. Not much time when searching above the fire floor. A more conscious control of my breathing while still under stressful conditions gave me 15 to 20 minutes of air, more time to search and escape. The seasoned Hazmat Tech or Biohazard responder, with lots of practice, can actually last longer than the 30-minute rating. Again, no bells or meditation mats but very conscious of my breath.

In 2005, Sara Lazar, PhD, of Harvard Medical School reported, “Our data indicate that regular practice of meditation is associated with increased thickness in a subset of cortical regions related to somatosensory, auditory, visual and interoceptive processing. Further, regular meditation practice may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex”.

So, you may be thinking wow George that’s great. How do I get started? I want time to breathe. Click here for a link to a model week planner:  You too can find time to breath, to sit to play and many others activities. Start with a breath.

Want more info?       

At Fortune Management we believe that it is possible to have an extraordinary practice and an extraordinary life. As a Fortune Advisor, we wear three hats: Executive Coach, Practice Management Specialist and Key Business Strategist. At our core, we are in the people development business. As people develop, they become better able to deal with stress, better able to communicate what they need as well as better able to see what others need. To schedule a complimentary Power Coaching email or call George at 774-836-6791