Why Leaders Need to Exhale — A Lot


I am curious about ways to help leaders with more effective performance and joyful living. As such, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to an area with a proven ability to impact both: the breath.

Did you know that your state of mind is a direct reflection of your breathing patterns? If you want to change your current experience, change your breath!

The good news is that there’s an easy fix. Simply notice how you breathe. Put your hand on your belly. If your lungs expand at the same time as your belly, chances are your breath is originating from the lungs. Change your breathing pattern to inhale from the nose, pulling the breath in through the belly and moving it up slowly through the lungs until it reaches the top. Release the breath taking an even longer time to do so than on the inhalation. When the lungs are fully emptied, be sure to notice the feeling just prior to the next inhalation.


I work with all my clients to educate and train them in effective breathing practices. Many have told me that this has changed their lives. They report better concentration, better rest, and better self-regulation. One client told me he lost 30 pounds and was able to stop blood pressure medication as a result of our work together!

Slowing down the breath is one of the most important areas in which leaders can be in control.

Breathing is a basic function of all living creatures. The fewer breaths we take, the more we will enjoy each moment. Some even say that this correlates with longevity!

For a deeper dive on the science of breath, I recommend an excellent book: Breath, by James Nestor.

Breathe deeply, lead well, and live long!


If you enjoyed this article, I have others on my blog at susansfreeman.com

Susan Freeman is an Executive Success Strategist, Leadership Coach, Speaker, Founder and Author of “Step Up Now: 21 Powerful Principles for People Who Influence Others”. She writes on the topic of leadership and influence using her unique innovative system that blends Western strategy and Eastern wisdom to activate the Guru Leader Within.

Executive Coach that combines Western strategic discipline with Eastern integrative wisdom to unlock leadership effectiveness for entrepreneurs & executives.