Extend Your Exhale
Making your exhale longer than your inhale activates the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. With time, this helps restore autonomic balance and promotes a calm, focused state of mind. Moreover, extending your exhale will naturally slow down your breathing and will help with workout recovery by reducing oxidative stress.
Here are some simple ways to lengthen your exhale throughout the day:
Breathe at a 1:2 ratio. Find a pace that is comfortable for you. Maybe 3 seconds in, 6 seconds out, or 5 seconds in, 10 seconds out. Use an app to make this practice easier.
Practice while walking. For example, inhale for 6 steps, exhale for 12 steps. An easy way to do this is while walking around the office. And, it will help the workday go by faster. If you have stairs at work like I do, try inhaling for one flight, and exhaling for 2 flights. You might quickly forget how many stories you’ve covered while focusing on your breath.