Hey! – Rob here
Your Daily Health Fix today is about …
The Physiological Sigh
What is it?
There are many similar breathing techniques that can help you de-stress, maintain control, improve focus and even assisting sleep. This one, the Physiological Sigh, popularised in recent years by scientist and podcaster Andrew Huberman, is super easy and especially effective.
To do it, . . .
1. Inhale as deeply as you can through your nose into your diaghphram (deep into your belly) and up into your ribcage and chest. Momentarily hold your breath.
2. Then inhale sharply one more time to try and fill up any gaps (still inhaling through the nose).
3. Then let out a long and powerful exhale through the mouth until you have no air left inside you.
Repeat this action between 4 and 10 more times for best effect.
How it works:
Breathing techniques have been widely studied, and general scientific observations are that many of them work, but the exact mechanisms are still being investigated. Heres a few of the contributary factors that may make the Physiological Sigh so effective:
– When CO2 levels in the blood get too high we feel panicked and stressed. The physiological sigh is a technique that quickly resets the oxygen balance in the blood by re-inflating collapsed or dormant air pockets in the lungs. At the same time the momentary breath holding and long exhale allows for greater transfer of oxygen into the blood, and the long exhale enables more CO2 to be expelled from the lungs.
– Stress inducing situations like bad news or fear instantaneously affect the blood oxygen levels through a cascade of neurotransmitter and hormonal secretions (triggering the fight or flight response) that cause heart rate and breathing to rapidly increase, the eye pupils to dilate. Often our responses become impulsive and reactionary in an effort to cope with (and survive) the ‘threat’. We can reverse engineer the Physiological Sigh in order to maintain calm, de-stress and act pragmatically whilst remaining in complete control.
– Another proposed mechanism is simply that the breathing technique itself is a conscious act to distract from the stressful situation, then allowing us to retrain our thoughts back into focus, and that the mindful use of this tool can then allow us to recognise and accept a given situation, regardless of whether blood oxygen levels or adrenalin are measurably different.
Try this, (next time you) . . .
Remember this tip when you’re feeling like you’re about to loose it, when a situation you find yourself in is becoming overwhelming, or someone or something is triggering you (regardless of right or wrong).
Be mindful to press the pause button in the situation, and perform a few repetitions of the Physiological Sigh.
Even if your thoughts and opinions remain the same, you’ll find that the way you handle the situation to be much calmer.
First and foremost this will be beneficial to reducing your own stress, but in the case that other people are involved, it’s likely that you’ll also ilicit a more successful response from them too.
. . . That’s it for this dose,
Until the next time – Stay Motivated!💪🏼
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