I find our body and mind connection fascinating. I was particularly intrigued when I stumbled across this breathing technique. Andrew Huberman a neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University states “Don’t control your thoughts with your thoughts. Use your body,” .
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL SIGH
How do I do it?
I invite you to try this now no matter how you are feeling. You are more likely to remember to use it when you need it, if you have already experienced it yourself.
Inhale through your nose
Do another shorter inhale on top of that inhale, again through the nose
Then do a long slow sigh/exhale through the mouth (try and make you exhale twice the length of your inhale)
Repeat another two times if it feels good to do so.
Note: Andrew states it can take about 40 seconds for the heart rate to come down as the neuro circuits in the heart work a little slower than those of the lungs.
Next time you are feeling stressed or anxious, rate that feeling on a scale of 1-10. Do the Physiological sigh 2 to 3 times. Then check in and notice how much that stress or anxiety has shifted using your scale of 1-10.
Why does this work?
This Physiological Sigh happens quite naturally when the carbon dioxide in our lungs and bloodstream gets too high. And guess what? Stress can be one of the things that can causes this rise in carbon dioxide.
As humans we can consciously control our diaphragm. This means we can use this breathing technique anytime we need to.
So simply put, the double inhale of air forces the air sacs in our lungs to open allowing more oxygen into the lungs. With the extra long sigh out you release more carbon dioxide out of the lungs. Thus lower carbon dioxide and the stress in our body.
From my heart to yours
PS. If you are interested in reading in more detail about the science behind this technique please click on the article below