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It’s Monday: Take a Breather

The holidays are approaching fast. Maybe a little too fast.

That long lis of to-do items just keeps nagging at you even though you are pushing it into the back of your mind, right?

It might be Monday, but it is high time to take a breather. Literally.

Experts at the American Institute of Stress have found that each year in the United States, $300 billion, or $7,500 per employee, is spent on stress-related compensation claims, reduced productivity, absenteeism, health insurance costs, direct medical expenses and employee turnover.

Also, studies have shown that those in high-stress jobs visited general practitioners 26% more and specialists 27% more compared with those in low-stress jobs.

We believe that a broken machine isn’t going to turn out a very good product. Why would a broken and stressed person be any different?

So, yes folks, Monday is a great time to take a breather. Research has shown that simple breathing techniques are the most effective way to reduce stress. I could ramble on for quite a while on the research. One of the more interesting studies, however, was done by Harvard researcher Herbert Benson in 1975. Benson found that short, regular periods of meditation could actually alter our body’s stress response. If you want to read more, check out the research here.

The best part? This won’t carve more than five minutes out of your work day. You owe yourself five minutes, right?

Alright then! Let’s breathe.

Here is one quick, easy breathing exercise to keep you balanced, centered and productive during this last crazy week before Christmas.


  1. Take a seat in a break room or any other semi-quiet place and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Don’t cross your legs or your arms!
  2. With your hands resting gently in your lap, gently close your eyes and just think about your breathing. Yoga is the art of connecting movement with the breath, so a big part of yoga is learning how to notice the breath.
  3. Are you thinking about your breath now? Good. Now in your mind, count down from 10 to 1.
  4. Alright, now take a deep breath in through your nose to a slow count of six. Notice the pause for just a second. Then, let the breath out with a quiet sigh to another slow count of six.
  5. Repeat as many times as you need to. Or, set your cell phone or other timer for five minutes at the most. Eventually, once your focus is sharpened, you can work up to 10 minutes, or more.


Let us know how it works out for you!

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