A Fast Way to Relax
We are so lucky with the internet today that there is a plethora of vital information available to us at the touch of our keyboards. A recent, favourite discovery of mine is Dr Andrew Huberman. If you are a user of Instagram and Youtube, Dr Huberman provides free content aimed at improving our health and wellbeing by educating us.
More specifically, he is a Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine. I have to say that the best part of listening to/watching him is how the information is presented in such a way that lay people like me can readily understand it. There are even diagrams – woohoo for us visual learners!
Dr Huberman speaks of something called a physiological sigh that can be used to quickly activate our parasympathetic nervous system – our rest and digest phase. One of the greatest takeaways for me in my learning to date relates to the impact of the breath on our state of mind and nervous system. It has been well documented and proven that an exhalation longer than our inhalation can assist in calming us down. The physiological sigh explores the impact of breath further.
The technique involves a deep breath – preferably through the nose but depending on your physiology, you may need to breathe through your mouth – and filling your lungs, and then taking another short breath before an extended exhale. Again, the exhalation can be through your mouth or nose. The reasoning for the double inhale is that the second inhale serves to “refill” the small sacs in our lungs that have collapsed and enables us to get rid of more carbon dioxide.
The beauty of this breath is that Dr Huberman says you only need to do it 2-3 times for your body to feel its effects.
Sounds too good to be true? I challenge you to try it and let me know how you go! Also, if you really want to feed your brain, follow Dr Huberman @hubermanlab .