More Work-Life Balance: Conscious Breathing, Smiling and, of course, Laughing


Many people get so busy and into their world of work and life that they often don’t pay attention to some healthy simple work-life balance activities, like breathing, smiling and laughing. What’s truly amazing is that these activities cost nothing and can be done anywhere at any time.

Breathing, smiling and laughing…let’s take a deeper look.

Watch a baby breathe and you’ll see their belly move in and out. That’s the sign of deep breathing, which is how we’re designed to breathe. Watch an average adult breathe, on the other hand, and you’ll see very little movement of the belly. This is because most adults breathe very shallowly. The result is that less oxygen gets to the brain and one’s thinking is impaired (but don’t plan on using this as a valid excuse…the boss won’t buy it!).

Furthermore, the brain oftentimes perceives the lack of oxygen as some kind of life-threatening situation and then activates the “fight or flight” mechanism which creates the sensation of anxiety or panic. So basically, poor breathing behavior is one of the activators of anxiety.

And all that from not breathing properly…but who would know, as we seldom have any education about breathing properly!

Want to feel less anxious? Then simply breathe more and breathe deeper!

This is why yoga is so powerfully effective as a natural healing modality and recognized and currently recommended more and more by many healthy practitioners. Much of the focus in yoga is on the breath and breathing consciously.

And, likewise, it’s also wise to smile. Why? Because when you smile consciously you actually change the physiology of your body, which means that smiling can actually change the way you feel. The old thinking was “change your thoughts and you change the way you feel”, but when you change your behaviors, in this case your facial behavior, you also change the way you feel!

And then there’s laughter: Such a wonderful medicine. An ancient proverb states: “A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.”

And what creates a “merry heart”? Laughter: Deep, belly-rolling, out-of-control laughter. But many people have developed a case of “chronic and terminal seriousness” from years of conditioning themselves to believe that laughter was only for children and adults only have time to be serious.

Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, the healthiest people in the world are those who have a sense of humor. Yes, health, in part, comes from having a good sense of humor.

Laughter is perhaps the best natural medicine we can ever engage in.

If you truly desire more work-life balance, practice conscious breathing, smiling and laughing…you’ll be happy you did! And everyone around will be affected as well! How cool is that?!!

And Marry YourSelf First!

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About Ken Donaldson

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