Why Angela Pilla Practices Deep Breathing Every Day

The Senior Compliance Program Manager and Export Controls Specialist shares her favorite tools and strategies for reducing stress.

My favorite feature of the Thrive app is the Microstep reminders that pop up to “wash your hands and think of three things you’re grateful for.” I also find the “posture alerts” and “breathing reminders” to be incredibly helpful.  

It’s so easy to get caught up in work, and as a result you often forget to take care of yourself. Having these daily reminders allows me to prioritize my well-being, even on a busy day. It’s also easy to get caught up in negative thinking without realizing it, which is why I find reframing with gratitude so powerful. There are so many small things you can be grateful for in life that can turn into big things, and practicing gratitude can truly retrain your brain not to fall into negative thought patterns. The other Microstep I swear by is taking some deep breaths before you start your day. This can really help you remain calm as well as put things in perspective throughout the day.

I’ve noticed that when I actually do what the alerts say, I feel better throughout the day. An added bonus is that these little pauses give my eyes a break from the computer screen. For me, that’s been harder to do since we went fully remote. 

On top of the Microstep reminders, I also enjoy Reset on the Thrive app — it’s really cool. Resets are basically guided meditations with uplifting quotes to make you feel good. It’s the perfect way to step back from work and connect with yourself — and because they’re only a minute or so long, you always have time for them.

I’ve also gained some great perspectives from Thrive webinars. I attended Caroline Gamble’s workshop about the power of your breath and it really stuck with me. Whenever I feel myself stressing out in an overwhelming situation, I start deep breathing. It’s also great to use the breathing techniques as you fall asleep at night.

Between Thrive’s learning tools and my own well-being journey, there are so many ways that I’ve learned to reduce burnout. Ultimately, I find that part of limiting stress is learning to let go. It’s really not worth stressing over things you can’t control. Life is going to happen regardless, so it’s easier to focus on how you respond when a situation does arise. It’s also very important to make the time to take care of your mental and physical health. It’s so essential for yourself and your loved ones. And most importantly, don’t forget to breathe.

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