46: How To Use Your Breath To Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, & Control Your Attention


Instead of interviewing a guest on the podcast, this episode is structured differently. I’ve mentioned before on the podcast that I am part of a local Toastmasters group where I practice my public speaking and leadership skills.

This episode is a recording of one of my recent speeches I gave to the Toastmasters group on the power of breath and specifically, breathing intentionally.

I discuss the benefits and share my experience about the benefits that I’ve seen from incorporating breathing techniques into my everyday life and training. Enjoy!


Beverly Hills 90210 Toastmasters Speech #2 – The Power of Breath

Season 2, Episode 8 – June 2020

Tonight I’m going to let you in on an extremely powerful tool. A tool that each one of us has direct access to at any given moment. 

That tool is our breath and our ability breathe intentionally.

Think about how important this is: Taking a breathe is the first thing you ever did and will be the last thing you’ll ever do. And it’s tied to every action in-between.

The breathe is the ultimate influence yet most of us take it for granted.

Even though, I’ve played sports and athletics for the last 20 years, I knew nothing about the power of breathe. It wasn’t until I joined my current gym that I was introduced. I remember one of my first workouts, my coach mentioned to me, alright Kyle, we’re going to do start in gear 1 with nasal breathing ONLY.

I remember thinking, that’s strange. It was extremely hard and uncomfortable at my first. But then I also remember how calm my state was and how strong my lungs felt after the workout. 

That was the first moment I realized that there is something powerful to this science.

I realized that by breathing intentionally, I am in control of lot more than I thought and found myself experiencing a lot more present moments.

If you’re striving to be a better speaker, leader, or higher performer in general – I think you’ll find this tool quite useful. 

Believe it or not, most people actually have no idea how to breathe, including myself until a couple years ago.

When you’re doing “breath work”, all you’re really doing is intentionally changing your breathing pattern to send different signals up to your brain. 

We can control the narrative we send up here!

In this speech, I am going to share with you (3) massive benefits of mindful breathing and show you what the power of breath can do for your life.

#1-THE FIRST MASSIVE BENEFIT: Reduce Anxiety & Relieve Stress

When you become stressed or anxious, you brain releases cortisol, which is the “stress hormone.” 

When you feel these stress hormones take over as they often do in day-to-day life, don’t just play victim. Take control by taking a second to pause, and initiate deep breathing.

When you breathe deeply, the air coming in through your nose fully fills your lungs. You know your doing this right if your belly rises when you inhale. 

If you’re chest is rising, you’re breathing incorrectly. This is called shallow breathing which limits the diaphragm’s range of motion. This will leave you feeling short of breath and send stress signals to the brain.

To demonstrate this, I want to share a deep breathing routine that will help you calm down and reduce anxiety before your next speech.

I use this all the time. You can also use this for any high stake meeting, social event, or stressful situation to make sure you show up in the best state of mind.

It’s called BOX Breathing; and it’s tool to use when you need to quickly move yourself from and up-regulated stressed state to a down-regulated calm state.

It’s called Box Breathing because each part of the breath is of equal length and can be visualized like the sides of a box. 

It looks like this: 

You inhale for 5 seconds,

You hold your breath for 5 seconds,

You exhale your breath for 5 seconds,

You hold for 5 seconds before you begin your next inhale.

Do that for 10 minutes and I promise you FEEL the shift in calmness.

I don’t know many things that yield immediate benefits but this is one of them.

THE SECOND MASSIVE BENEFIT OF MINDFUL BREATHING: Improve YOUR Health & Performance

Imagine yourself running, hiking, walking, driving, or doing whatever you do during the day. Now ask yourself: are you breathing out of your nose or your mouth?

The foundation of this benefit comes from committing to start breathing through your nose instead of your mouth.

The nose is built with a specific purpose: to support our respiratory system. The mouth’s primary purpose is to start the digestive system.

If you look around and observe, you’ll notice that almost everyone is breathing through their mouth.

Nasal breathing, as opposed to mouth breathing allows for more oxygen to reach active tissues in the body. Meaning you can go for longer and recover faster.

And you don’t have to be an athlete to feel the benefits to your performance. Consistent nasal breathing will improve anything you are asking body and mind to do.

THIRD MASSIVE BENEFIT OF MINDFUL BREATHING: Improve Your Mental Focus & Confidence.

Brian Mackenzie, founder of Power Speed Endurance said: “The breath is the remote control to the brain and you can take control of your mind at any time by taking control of your breath.”

When we have control of our mind, we have control of our attention. 

When we have control of our attention, we can direct our energy how we like and take big steps toward our personal development. The sky becomes the limit. 

When we are mindful and breathe with intention, we show up in the world confident and in control, rather than gasping for breath.

When we choose how we show up, we can choose confidence, productivity, and directing our energy toward our goals.

In Conclusion: I believe that the power of breathe is the tool that will be the next big leap in human performance, longevity, and happiness.

As leaders, this tool is very useful!

Being aware of your breath makes you unconquerable.

Always remember: The First Thing You Ever Did & The Last thing You Will Ever Do.

When you own your breath, no body can steal your peace.

That’s The Power of Breath.

Listen to this powerful speech in Nitch Radio Podcast #46:

Listen on: iTunes |Spotify | Breaker

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