Wellbeing-led, workplace advisor, obo, is delighted to partner with celebrated freedriver, Helena Bourdillon, to promote conscious breathing as an indispensable tool in the positive mental health and wellbeing toolbox; whether you’re at work, at home or on the go.

A 7x National Record Holder who has represented Great Britain four times at the World Championships, Helena is an expert when it comes to breathing techniques; a practice fundamental to freediving where she can dive to depths of -76 metres.

‘As natural as breathing’ is a phrase too often used when in fact “nine out of ten of us are doing it incorrectly”, Helena explains. “The majority of people practice upper chest breathing which is out of sync with our body’s natural inclination, making our breath shallower, more frequent and more noisy. The result of this can cause a myriad of health issues, including stress and anxiety” she adds.

In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to manage your mental health and Helena has some tips to help reduce anxiety and encourage relaxation: “Breathe in and out through your nose. Count the length of your inhale and then double that for the exhale to stimulate the rest and digest side of your nervous system. As you feel your body relaxing, slow down the pace of the counting.”

“When we use our breath consciously and calmly our bodies respond favourably. Physically we can improve or alleviate many diseases and illnesses and mentally we are kept in the present moment rather than worrying about the past or fearing the future,” she continues.

In her role as brand ambassador for obo, Helena is delivering a series of breathing talks and workshops as part of obo’s Workable Wellbeing programme. Helena will present the training methods and skills required for freediving and how such skills can be practised by anyone. She will also offer an introduction to better breathing habits and the immediate benefits you can gain from them. Full details can be found here.