Breathe

"Hey! Hey! Relax. Take a deep breath. Now, let's ask somebody for directions." - Dory, Finding Nemo

breathe

DISCLAIMER

It's probably best to start with a disclaimer this week: I am not a doctor. I don't pretend to be a doctor (though someday maybe i’ll play one on TV). So please don't take anything that I talk about here with anything but a grain of salt as another schlub posting to the internet after doing some reading. Please consult your doctor before doing anything. Like, anything.

After last week's mention of breathing and digging further into the problems associated with it, I started to read about the benefits of breathing correctly. By paying attention to my breath to see if I was breathing through my mouth or nose, I finally put into practice some routines to switch how I breathe.

I found this article on email apena particularly interesting. Disclosure: I also have mild sleep apnea. Life deals ya things in spades sometimes. :) But…

research observed the breathing patterns of hundreds of people while seated at a computer and found that about 80 percent of people would unconsciously hold their breath or drop into shallow breathing when they respond to email or texting..

In my typical information-craving fashion, down the habit hole I went. This whole 'mouth breathing' thing seems to be a source of real trouble. Give this quick video a watch:

In summary:

… found studies where people who breathe at a rate of about 20 breaths a minute, so the average considered normal is 12-18 breaths a minute, so 20 breaths a minute is maybe even on the low end for populations with anxiety and asthma. All they're doing is bringing air here and getting it out. That means they can only use 50% of that air.Because they're filling up their throats, they're filling up their mouths, they're filling up the bronchus, all of these areas can't participate in gas exchange. So, they're just wasting air and bringing it in, bringing it out.

Only 50% at that rate when you're taking it 6l a minute. If you slow that down to 12 breaths per minute, you're taking in 70%. That's how much more efficient you are. 20% difference, incredible!

Right now, it looks like I'm pretty consistent (according to Apple Health) at around 16.7BrPM. Sleeping, I drop to approximately 14 breaths per minute.

So I've started to "train" to be a nasal breather. The method described in the article is relatively simple: while you are doing aerobic exercise, breathe only through your nose. Exercise for some time (10-25 minutes). Focus on breathing through your nose. If you have to mouth breath, slow down!

I was shocked that it would be that easy.

Well, holy crap - it’s not that easy when you try to do it. But it's something I will play around with and continue to build to see if I get results.

Next thing I want to try: the Wim Hof method. If you're not familiar with Wim How, he's known as 'The Iceman.' He has developed a technique of slow breathing that 'people who consistently practice it report anecdotal results from improving athletic performance to quieting the symptoms of chronic disease.'

Pretty interesting to read more about it over the following weeks. I’m sure i’ll be following up on this in a few months with my success or failure.

For now: BREATHE!

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Forward Thinking

Another great quick watch from Simon Sinek on 'Existential Flexibility' - "the ability to make a profound shift in order to continue advancing your just cause"

Thought of the week

A few weeks back, I mentioned the excellent documentary 14 Peaks. I've been following Nimsdai Purja since, and he's had a few gems.

Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:

  • Easily could rate "What we Lost" as my read of the week. In an incredibly thoughtful essay, Michael Lopp covers the senses that are lost or limited in the world of video calls that we've been living in. They are [a] 'sterile dehumanizing experience. A good in-person meeting is pure jazz.' - More
  • Speaking of video calls, "mmhmm and Phil Libin" is an interesting interview on the product that was born out of a joke - More
  • Laura Dern wrote (and shared) a letter to her daughter, "Most of your life will happen in the gray spaces between bliss and heartbreak." - More
  • On a whim a few weeks back, I took an Enneagram personality test. No one asked me to; I thought it would be an interesting exploration trying to further my self-understanding on why sometimes I feel a certain way or react the way I do in a situation. While I'm still processing the results, it certainly is a mountain of useful information. Here's more on "Interpreting Your Enneagram Test Results" - More
  • What a great concept: "Overdeliver Without Overwhelming." - More
  • I thought "My Seatbelt Rule for Judgment" is a great rule to live by; "my willingness to judge something should be proportional to how much I know about it." - More
  • Friends come and go; few remain around for the long term. "It's Your Friends Who Break Your Heart" examines 'painful dissolution of a friendship' - More
  • File under 'why did this take so long?' - "Lawmakers Press Amazon on Sales of Chemical Used in Suicides" - More
  • Shangrilogs has been a fascinating read on how Kelton Wright survived and thrived 'buying a house in the middle of nowhere.' In "Where do I go from here?" , she looks back at what she left behind and what's on her compass from now on - More
  • "The Brand Positioning Edition" riffs on ads with "purpose" and how 'many of those anthemic ads we see feel like someone just took a brief and pressed record instead of hiring a creative team to find a way to say it without saying it' - More
  • I'm certainly guilty of "The Collector's Fallacy" - 'our tendency to collect every piece of information we run across in the hopes of putting it to good use later.' The reality is this hoarding does not equal understanding. - More

Fin

I'm pretty sure by now that I was not the target audience from last week's Super Bowl halftime show. A few friends and I were chatting on "the best" show, and Prince performing in Super Bowl XLI was one of the best we could think of.

Be well. ✌🏻