Chef Ellen


Taking a 5-Minute Breather

“I’m tapped out.” “There’s nothing in my reserve.” “I’m currently operating on a low battery.”These are clever ways to say I’m exhausted, anxious, or you require space, but how often do we act on our troublesome thoughts? Attempting to energize and refresh our emotions can undoubtedly impact our well-being. Awareness and effort focused on proper breathing yield impactful results with mental clarity, mood, and overall everyday performance. 


Taking just 5 minutes to focus on breathing is a deliberate way to calm the central nervous system and has many physiological benefits. Controlled breathing involves deliberately repeating a breathing pattern to bring about serenity. It also lowers blood pressure and heart rate and reduces levels of stress hormones in the blood. Daily 5-minute breaks engaging in mindful breathwork practices significantly improve mood and reduce anxiety.


Consistent hustling takes precedence over just being, and our health pays the price. If one becomes more aware of the pause in everyday activities, we are more likely to tune in and positively control an adverse scenario before it controls us. Some studies even suggest that breathwork holds more healthful benefits than meditation.


Let’s dig deeper and facilitate progress with this life-sustaining bodily function.


Taking in air and exhaling is moving oxygen in and out of your lungs. The movement of air nourishes our physical body by oxygenating on a cellular level. Controlled breath work boosts our immune functions, calms our minds, mutes the constant chatter, and allows us to tap into deep relaxation and peace. Sign me up!


From birth, we naturally breathe through our bellies. Think about a newborn or your pet dog and notice their bellies rise and fall without effort. Over the years, we develop flawed breathing patterns and forget to take deep breaths using our bellies. Instead, we take shorter breaths, often from our chest, which triggers our nervous system and brings about unfavorable symptoms like fatigue, gut issues, headaches, neck pain, sleepless nights, and anxiety. So, close your mouth, utilize your nose to do its job, and remember, use your belly and back, not your chest, to breathe the air.


There are many resources available to explore and master enhanced breathwork. These include books, online courses, mobile apps, and numerous YouTube videos that demonstrate various breathwork techniques. Yoga studios, workshops, and retreats also provide various opportunities for hands-on practice.


More focus on breathwork allows your thoughts to flow without getting lost. Guided breaths calm many bodily functions, thus allowing our thoughts to solve our problems instead of backfiring them into stressful situations—improved focus and enhanced concentration direct attention away from distractions and allow one to appreciate present moments.


The following practice is adaptable virtually anywhere you can spare 5 minutes. With consistency and initiative, one five-minute session turns into several throughout the day. Tension floats away, restoring a heightened sense of peace and wellness.


The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a simple yet effective dive into controlled breaths designed to promote relaxation, less stress, and calm.


Have you got 5 minutes to spare?

1. Find a comfortable position; you choose to have your eyes closed or open.


2. Rest your tongue against the roof of your mouth, relaxing it just behind your upper front teeth.


3. Clear all stale air from your belly by starting with a brisk exhale through your mouth.


4. Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of 4. Remember to expand your belly outward as you focus on filling your lungs with air.


5. Hold your breath for 7 seconds while remaining calm and relaxed.


6. Exhale slowly and entirely while making a soft whooshing sound for seconds.


7. Repeat the cycle four times for maximum soothing benefits. 


This simple and effective tool facilitates healing and transformative responses. Embracing an open mind when starting something new and allowing yourself to be patient with results is essential to finding a practice that resonates with your goals. Experiment and practice as anyone can enhance body, mind, and spirit when taking a whole-body approach to wellness.

In good health!


Just Breathe