Stress Management 101: Teach Employees How to Breathe

By Werner Absenger Chef de Cuisine, Cygnus 27 at Amway Grand Plaza | April 27, 2014

Controlled Breathing: The Most Basic of Mind-body Techniques

Noticing your breathing pattern and being able to change breathing from tension producing to one of relaxation is a simple and crucial mind-body technique. 
Meditation and deep-breathing form the foundation for many other mind-body techniques (1).

When we are stressed, many of us tend to breathe shallowly. This shallow breathing elevates blood pressure, heart rate and raises anxiety. Deep breathing, either gently in meditation or rapidly during chaotic breathing increase the body's capacity to draw in oxygen and free carbon dioxide. 
Deep breathing calms the mind and engages the body's natural relaxation response. 
Deep breathing also decreases blood pressure, reduces heart rate and promotes cardiac function. It is also beneficial for other stress-related conditions such as diabetes, intestinal problems, asthma, chronic pain, depression and anxiety(1).

The appreciation of the significance of breath is detected in the word "inspiration." The name for taking in breath also suggests that one is "inspired," "excited," "ennobled," or "turned on" by life. Respiration is the only system of the body that is both automatic and voluntary. Breathing goes on without us having to think about it. Breathing also can be controlled(1).

Breathing has this excellent adaptability about it. It is always there, always accessible for use, and we can shape breathing. As we form our breath, as we regulate its depth or shallowness or its rate, we can also modify many other functions in the body(1).

Breathing is responsive to emotional states and can also shape emotional states. When you are stressed, breathing is shallow and hurried, and the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated. The body wants more oxygen to go to the large muscles, so it can either run away or fight. If you are ready for a fight or you are trying to run, you need a rush of energy and adrenalin. If this state persists, it can cause a variety of physical problems(1).

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Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.