The Importance of Breathing

The Importance of Breathing

by elainesuess
I returned from a week in Maine in early September. I mostly stayed “off the grid,” enjoyed $8 lobster, time with friends, and the beautiful scenery. The trip was fantastic, and it made me think about rats. 
Rats have been fueling research studies for quite some time. I’m not much in the habit of talking about them, but I would like to share a study with you. 
In this particular study, our long-tailed friends were put to the test finding cheese in a maze (if you can imagine). 
A Maze Ing
Here’s how the study worked:
R1 was put into a maze to find cheese. After he found it, he was placed back into the maze to rerun the route.  

R2 was put into a maze to find cheese. After he found it, he was given a rest, and then put back into the maze to rerun the route.

Both scavengers were timed.

The Big Reveal
The findings were clear – R2 (the fellow who was given a rest after his runs) was better able to find the cheese than R1.

Perhaps you’re not surprised?
Okay, then, here are a few questions for you:
1. Do you ever skip lunch during the day?
2. Do you make time for exercise during the week?
3. How often during your day or week do you make time to breathe and replenish yourself/your brain?
4. Have you ever ended the year with unused vacation time?
As you consider your answers to the questions, remember the rats. 

In this fantastic article written by Tim Kreider, he points out that taking a break “is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” The author is a writer who may have more flexibility than you or I. Still, we can shift our practices and habits.

The space we create can pay off in productivity, creativity and happiness. At work this week, be intentional about taking a:
• Short breather
• Yoga-like stretch  
• Lunch (don’t work through it!)
• Five-minute break or walk
• Meditative moment at your desk 
Our brains weren’t built to be “on” all the time.  

If you want the cheese, give your brain time to recharge, and both you and your organization will reap the rewards!

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