The importance of breathing in daily energy management and burnout prevention

May 9th, 2022,

6 min read

The importance of breathing in daily energy management and burnout preventionfeatured image

A job, running a family, seeing friends, exercising, me-time… It all deserves attention. Day in and day out we try to keep all the balls in the air as best as we can, but how do you keep your energy level high in everything you do?

Breathing plays an essential role in daily energy management. To make as many people as possible aware of this, moonbird works together with Energy Lab, an organization that motivates people to consciously choose a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle in order to be physically, mentally and emotionally strong(er). Focusing on a healthy lifestyle is a necessity: it is essential in the often hectic world in which we live.

What role does breathing play, and why is it so important that we pay more attention to it? We asked Aline Fobe, corporate wellbeing consultant, and Johan Ceuppens, corporate marketing manager at Energy Lab.

A focus on corporate wellbeing. What exactly does Energy Lab do?

Aline: “We help companies to develop a sustainable health policy through our corporate wellbeing and corporate energy services. Companies are often focused on high performance, and on growth, which you don’t achieve by only working hard without any room for rest and recovery. It’s not sustainable in the long term; between the high peaks of stress and hard work, your body and brain always need sufficient recovery time. A nice quote in this context is: 'Human beings are not designed to run like computers - at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time.', by Tony Schwartz.

The focus of our approach is on high performance as well, but in a sustainable way, with enough room for rest and recovery. This way you keep your energy level as high as possible, so you’re able to do everything you want to do optimally, both within your job and in your private life.

We have a holistic view on the sustainable deployment of employees. The time in one day is limited, everyone knows that. What is not limited, however, is your energy. This can always be influenced by the way you manage it. Paying proper attention to your energy will prevent you from getting burned out by the end of the day. Within Energy Lab's programs we look at small adjustments that people can make themselves, so that at the end of the working day they still have enough energy left to do the things they like to do. It’s all about enjoying life, from early in the morning until late at night.”

How do you help employees to manage their energy?

Johan: “Within the corporate programs we offer, we always work on three levels. Firstly, we offer inspiration through lectures and workshops with various experts. That's where it all starts: providing knowledge and inspiration. Then comes the activation: we get to do things and experience the effects. We look into different themes, such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, growth mindset and breathing.

Employees are stimulated by various events and activities, during which they either work together or individually. We try to challenge people in a positive way, as ultimately, it is the experience that makes the difference.

We also do this, for example, by giving people a tracker that measures things such as HRV (heart rate variability), breathing rate, resting heart rate and temperature. This provides insights into their current situation and how various factors - such as working late, drinking alcohol, a corona infection, etc. - influence their energy level and the recovery of their body.

Finally, we make room for reflection, and ask questions such as: 'What works for me, personally?' and 'What can I adjust every day to feel better?' The goal is that people really benefit from everything they’ve learned and experienced, for the rest of their lives.”

Why is breathing such an important part of the programs?

Aline: “Breathing is the foundation of everything. It is not only very important when it comes to keeping your physical energy high, but also for strengthening your emotional and mental resilience. You always have your breathing with you and you can always influence it. I myself come from the world of sport, so I know how powerful adequate breathing is to gain sufficient energy, but also for rest and recovery of your body.

Our goal at Energy Lab is to create more awareness around the power of breathing, especially among people who do not easily come into contact with this on their own. Many people are not aware of the way they breathe, or hardly think about it. Although your breathing has a major impact on the quality of your life. The effects are also scientifically substantiated, something that makes it (even more) interesting for many.

There is no doubt that breathing works, we also see proof of that in our programs. A perfect example comes from a corporate trajectory with PwC: one evening we saw a clear peak in sleep and recovery scores, measured by the trackers of all participants. That was exactly the night after a workshop on mindfulness and breathing exercises. The result? The best night's sleep for the whole group since the start of the project!”

'Breathing with moonbird has been life-changing. I now use it every day to control my stress levels and relax more’

In which way is moonbird being used, and what are the experiences?

Aline: “Stefanie, the co-founder of moonbird, always starts with an inspiration/knowledge session about the power of doing breathing exercises, which often provides a lot of insight. Then, of course, it's about the experience: breathing with moonbird. Participants see and feel the impact of breathing exercises, and sometimes also get to take a moonbird home.

It's nice that moonbird sets the rhythm and offers the right guidance, in a pleasant way. You just have to follow its calm pace with your breathing. This not only creates more awareness, but also the confidence that you are doing it right. We regularly receive positive feedback from participants, as a PwC employee shared: 'Breathing with moonbird was life-changing for me. I now use it every day to control my stress levels and relax more’.”

Johan: “What is also very nice is that moonbird gives feedback so that you can see what effect the breathing exercises have on your body. To measure is to know, which is very valuable for many participants. Based on the information and feedback you get, you will also receive insights, so that you can draw your own conclusions about the effect of the exercises, in addition to the experience itself. This greatly increases the chance of long-lasting changes.”

How do you practice conscious breathing yourself?

Aline: “Moonbird is always on my nightstand. I like to use it in the evening, but especially in the morning, instead of snoozing. It really is a mindful moment for myself in which I can start the day with positive energy and check in with myself: 'How am I feeling today?', 'What do I want the day to bring?'.

This is how I start my day in full consciousness, with positive vibes and without too many stimuli - compared to when I immediately check my inbox. I take control over my day, instead of the day controlling me.”

Johan: “Moonbird is also on my nightstand, and I prefer to use it in the morning, in combination with a meditation on the Calm app. A moment of silence gives me insights and positive energy: inspiration to start the day well. I like that moonbird provides tactile guidance so you can keep your focus on your breath. A brain always tends to wander; moonbird gives me something to hold on to and it helps me find my balance every day.”

Energy Lab

Would you like to know more about Energy Lab and their corporate wellbeing programs? Look at energylab.be or go directly to the Master Your Energy trajectory, in which moonbird also plays a role.

Curious what breathing with moonbird can do for you? Read more: how moonbird works.

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