FUEL YOUR WILLPOWER, without trying harder.

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Have you made a willpower commitment to eat better and exercise more? Are you on track, or have you started to fail?

You’re not alone in failing.

The problem with willpower is that it runs out. Willpower needs the right kind of physical and emotional energy to succeed. The secret is to add more fuel to the tank before committing their willpower to a task.

Fill your tank first.

What if you could do something (natural and free), that gives you more mental and physical energy? What if the answer was to breathe?

You can use your breath to balance your nervous system – for mood and focus; improve your blood chemistry – for better oxygen delivery and energy. This is the fuel for successful willpower.

There are thousands of breath practices – but NOT all breath practices are created equal.

 

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The evidence-based breathing practices that fill your tank.

Research shows that nitric oxide (NO) is released into the body at the greatest proportion with nose breathing and humming – NO reduces blood pressure and helps the blood deliver oxygen better. It is a natural anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent [1, 2]. Nitric oxide makes us tougher.

How much humming? A Swedish study showed that 4 breaths with a humming exhale, followed by a few minutes of quiet breathing, repeated over 15 minutes, delivered a the most amount of NO to the body with the least amount of effort [3, 4].

Comfortably decreasing the breath rate and volume elevates CO2 in the blood. This is a good thing. Elevating CO2 improves the acid base balance of blood – making it easier to deliver and access the oxygen in the blood. This means we have more energy when we need it. It also means that we rest and sleep better[5].

Elevated blood levels of CO2 also elevate bicarbonates produced by the kidneys. Bicarbonates buffer the internal chemicals (like lactic acid) that slow us down[6]. This is another internal chemical process in which we can use the breath to make ourselves stronger.

Lastly, a breathing patterns of two breaths in and a long breath out, called a “cyclical sign,” decreases anxiety and improves mood even more than mindfulness-based meditation and hyperventilation practices [7].

Fuel your willpower with this simple breathing practice.

Do this 15-minute breath practice each morning.

  1. Set a timer for 15 minutes, with interval bells at 3, 6, 9, 12, (and 15) minutes.
  2. Sit comfortably upright with the spine in a neutral position.
  3. Become aware of the breath and imagine how you will feel once you’ve accomplished your goal.
  4. Take a full belly-breath in through the nose, then another breath in (smaller than the first) without breathing out.
  5. Release the breath slowly while humming, feeling the ability to sit comfortably upright – with less effort.
  6. Do this four times (breaths).
  7. Then allow the breath to settle – feeling how it’s even easier to breathe quietly – low in the body, and slow. Allow your attention to rest in observing the breath. If you’re like most people, your mind will wonder. When you realize your attention has left the breath, become aware of what you’re thinking about, and return the breath. This is normal.
  8. At the next chime, repeat the 4 double breaths followed by an extended humming exhale. Then allow the attention to rest in the breath, as your breathing becomes light, slow, and low.
  9. Repeat this sequence for the remaining intervals.
  10. At 15 minutes, take another moment to feel the ease in accomplishing your goal.

 

Click here for a video demonstration

 

Practice in action.

A recent client who was struggling with anxiety, low energy, and poor sleep found more energy after a few days of doing this practice twice a day. She was moved to tears during a weekly check-in, stating “I didn’t realize how easy it could be to feel better.”

Want more?

Dive deeper into what it takes to unlock your breathwork potential? Request a free 30-minute consultation to learn a little more.

 

  1. Lundberg, J.O., Nitric oxide and the paranasal sinuses. Anat Rec (Hoboken), 2008. 291(11): p. 1479-84.
  2. Weitzberg, E. and J.O. Lundberg, Humming greatly increases nasal nitric oxide. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 2002. 166(2): p. 144-5.
  3. Maniscalco, M., et al., Nasal nitric oxide measurements before and after repeated humming maneuvers. Eur J Clin Invest, 2003. 33(12): p. 1090-4.
  4. Maniscalco, M., et al., Assessment of nasal and sinus nitric oxide output using single-breath humming exhalations. Eur Respir J, 2003. 22(2): p. 323-9.
  5. Laffey, J., Hypocapnia. New England Journal of Medicine, 2002. 347(1): p. 43-53.
  6. Beales, D.J., Breath, Buffers and Performance. Functional Sports Neutrition, 2014.
  7. Balban, M.Y., et al., Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal. Cell Reports Medicine, 2023. 4(1): p. 100895.

 

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