An Outside idea from Tracey Howes : Finding Your Flow 

Take A Deep Breath

I’ve always been drawn to the ocean. It’s been an integral part of my life – swimming with my grandparents,

surfing with my dad (on his board, mind you), paddle-boarding, scuba and freediving. It makes you feel good
and I wanted to know why..

During my research I discovered a book called Blue Mind by Wallace J Nichols. Being in or near water, our minds calm and this allows us to access the default-mode network or day-dreaming parts of our brains, whilst restoring our ability to focus and perform creative tasks with greater ease. Nichols explores the concept of Blue Mind – calm (activated during focused time in nature); Red Mind – anxiety, fear, stress and Grey Mind – burn out.

Which would you rather be?

Studies have shown that our sense of happiness increases when near to water regardless of socio-economic factors. In fact, during immersion, the body sends out signals that are similar to meditation or relaxation.

Think about how you feel when you have a warm bath. You could say your mind is in flow…

It wouldn’t surprise you then, that as a breathwork instructor and free diver, I’m equally obsessed in understanding the power of the breath. If you’ve ever held your breath and swum underwater then you are freediving. Part of our training is about becoming comfortable with the discomfort of rising CO2 levels during breath-hold. This manifests in physical contractions of the breathing muscles, and more importantly, the
mind’s response.

With regular breathwork practice we can train our minds to remain calm and focus on the task ahead without distraction. This focused attention increases neuroplasticity in the brain, essential for long-term brain health. My clients will often say they feel more confident once they understand how to use the breath to manage their response to stress. You don’t need to be an expert diver either – my clients range from busy execs, business owners, teens, recreational athletes and those with a strong desire to improve their health.

In conclusion, Blue Mind describes happiness for the longer term as the attainment of personal goals and the adoption of meaningful activities. Why wouldn’t you want to apply this to your work by pursuing something meaningful to you?

Tracey Howes
Functional Breathwork Instructor & Freediver

An Outside idea from Tracey Howes : Finding Your Flow


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