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The power of your breath

There are always things outside of our control but take a moment to consider what is and go from there.

For a Front Line Worker stress is part of the role and they experience it regularly. The stats below both pre pandemic and during make it clear that we need to be more proactive about the tools front line workers have to help them navigate the challenges of these roles.

In a survey by Blue Light Together 87% of emergency services staff and volunteers experienced stress and poor mental health during their work.

In a separate study amongst front line workers measured since the outbreak of covid-19 32% reported regular symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Our body must be able to switch between a stress response and a relaxation response for our basic long term health. Based on Polyvagul Theory how quickly we are able to do this when responding to stress depends on our autonomic responses and vagul tone.

Vagul tone regulates our bodies responses to stressors, the higher this is the more adaptive we are. So if we experience high stress situations on top of every day life stress consistently our body can become overwhelmed and struggle to navigate between stress and relaxation putting us on high alert all the time.

The breath is key to helping us adapt, try this breath exercise (or share it with your team) for 1 week or better still for stress awareness month and notice how you feel when moving between different situations.

Practicing this is great when you feel up against it but practicing it proactively is making a change to managing stress in your body.

You don’t have to be seated or even close your eyes but it can help with focus. Allow the breath to travel to the belly and find some space there.

  1. Breathe in for 3

  2. Breathe out for 5

  3. Breathe in for 3

  4. Breathe out for 6

  5. Breathe in for 3

  6. Breathe out for 7

  7. Breathe in for 3

  8. Breathe out for 8


  1. Breathe in for 4

  2. Breathe out for 6

  3. Breathe in for 4

  4. Breathe out for 7

  5. Breathe in for 4

  6. Breathe out for 8

  7. Breathe in for 4

  8. Breathe out for 9


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