The Pressure is On: Breathe to be a Better Dad
At any given moment, as dads, we’re thinking about safety, security, adventure, work, parenting, husbanding, finances, retirement, fire alarms, bike helmets, and beyond.
Add to this all the questions and self-doubt that accompany these topics. How do I fix this or that problem? Are they old enough to ride their bikes to school? What more can I do to build up their confidence? Will they grow up to be content, responsible people? Do I even need to worry about this right now?
That’s a lot of pressure.
Years ago when my daughters were in preschool, I received this great piece of guidance that works wonders when I remember to use it.
When confronted with a parenting problem, and weighing your options, ask yourself these three questions:
- Will it matter in 10 minutes?
- Will it matter in 10 months?
- Will it matter in 10 years?
When I can remember to ask these questions, and have the presence of mind to consider them completely, I can usually turn the situation around, and feel ok about my response.
When I don’t, I try to remember to breathe. And then ask myself these questions.
And if all else fails, I turn to apologies and try to convince myself these moments when I fail as a dad won’t haunt them forever.
Calling All Dads: What’s worth the worry?
How do you deal with the pressure?
What questions do you have about fatherhood?
How do you know when to worry, when to let it go, when to push, to pull, to be stern, to be tender?
We want your questions and your advice.
Visit @komusodesign and leave your pressing questions and your best piece of dad advice. And while you’re at it, why not throw a dad joke in there?
Todd, Komuso co-founder and father of two, will be hosting a Q&A for dads and sharing some of these questions and advice to help us all level up. Stay tuned for details on when he'll host the dad Q&A.
The Importance of Changing Channels
“When your state changes, your breathing pattern changes. And it’s a two-way street: when you change your breathing, you change your state. And therein lays the transformational power and the healing potential of breathwork.”
- Dan Brule
I don’t know about you guys, but I get myself into trouble every time I forget to change the channel.
What do I mean by this?
When I come home from work and try to parent from the employee/work brain, it rarely goes well. I find myself saying things to my kids that should be reserved for the work environment, and not employing the tenderness required of a father.
“Breathing patterns are like fingerprints: unique to each of us.”
- Dan Brule
Think about these different roles we fill as dads, husbands, employees, bosses, friends…
Think of the requirements that come with each role. The different ways of thinking, the different strategies, even the different vocabularies we use.
Now, do you think you breathe the same way in each of these roles?
Not likely. If breathing patterns are unique to each of us, then they must be unique to each of the different people we are throughout the day, right?
With each role we play, the breath changes. And we can better satisfy the needs of these roles by changing our breathing patterns as we switch from role to role.
Are you a fixer too?
When confronted with a problem, what do you do?
I want to fix it as quickly as possible.
I want to assess the problem, make a quick decision, and keep moving. Yes, this works sometimes. No, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes, I need to sit back and hear a different perspective, consider all options again, and then sit on it. This is my personal nightmare. But breathing helps.
Bottom line: if I don’t take the time to consciously change channels, I waste a great deal of time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
And the quickest way I’ve found to change channels and truly solve the problem at hand is through breathwork.
Do yourself and those around you a favor: honor the different roles you fill by consciously breathing as you switch from one to another.
The Easiest Way to Breathe Consciously
Find a quiet spot, go for a walk, try it before you get up in the morning or go to sleep at night.
All you need to get started is two minutes.
First, take a slow inhale. The goal is to breathe in for six seconds.
Next, exhale slowly. The goal is to breathe out for six seconds.
Start by doing this for two minutes every day.
Want to Take it Up a Notch? 10+10+(10 x 2)
In his book Just Breathe, Dan Brule outlines the 10+10+(10x2) daily breathing routine.
- 10 minutes first thing in the morning
- 10 minutes an hour before sleep
- 2 minutes every hour (roughly 10 times over the rest of your day)
Inhale for six seconds. Exhale for six seconds. Sounds easy enough, right?
Done day in, day out, the cumulative impact you'll experience as you keep working to breathe better will increase focus, alleviate that feeling of pressure we harbor in our chests, reduce anxiety, help improve sleep, and so much more.
Make this part of your daily routine and you and your loved ones will continue to feel the benefits.
Don’t Forget: Dads & Breathing Q&A with Todd
Visit @komusodesign and leave your questions, some advice, and your best dad joke. We'll share more details about the day and time soon.