There is a simple technique to help combat anxiety
People who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety will be familiar with breathing techniques to help calm themselves.
Most people will know to breath slowly or take deep breaths to try to relax. But it turns out there’s a breathing technique that is more effective than that.
Jane McGonigal, PhD, is a senior researcher at the Institute for the Future and has come across a simple breathing technique which most people might not be aware of.
It's called the power breath and involves exhaling for twice as long as you inhale. So if you were to inhale for 5 seconds, then you would exhale for 10 seconds.
"It triggers a switch in your body’s nervous system from sympathetic nervous system state to parasympathetic. And parasympathetic is a nervous system state that’s associated with what they call 'rest-and-digest or' 'calm-and-connect'.
"There’s a simple reason why this form of breathing helps switch your body into that calm-and-connect, rest-and-digest state which is that when you are naturally calm, when you are naturally resting and not thinking about your breathing, that is the breathing pattern that your body adopts.
"So you’re basically fooling your brain and body into thinking that you’re already calm and connected, that you’re already at rest by breathing the way you would be breathing if you were naturally in a state of calm and connection."
Watch Jane describe it here:
Image and video via YouTube/Big Think