Anxiety is the scourge of our generation.
As I mentioned in a previous article, I’m pretty damn happy most of the time, but I do get anxious and stressed.
Stress is linked to the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the body in fight or flight mode.
When you’re on a losing streak, or anxious about stuff, your body will produce cortisol.
Cortisol is perfectly normal and has served us well for millennia.
But it’s only supposed to be in the body for short amounts of time.
In the last century however, cortisol stays in the body for longer at low-levels, due to the lifestyle we now have.
This is not good.
In fact, this will kill us.
I accidentally discovered this breathing exercise when out and about recently.
Stand up tall (a bit like power posing as we saw in the earlier article on Amy Cuddy).
Tilt your head back a bit and breathe in fully slowly and under control through your nose, all the way in, as much as you can take in.
Hold the breath at the end of the inhale for a few seconds, until you want to exhale.
Then exhale under the same full control as you did on the inhale, and completely exhale.
Wait a few seconds before inhaling again, then start the process again.
You’re looking for deep, deep, slow breaths.
If you do this inhale/exhale a few times, you’ll feel your body relaxing.
For me, I feel my shoulders drop to a relaxed position.
My mind becomes quieter.
My breathing slows.
It sounds so simple, but has such positive effects.
It’s a great tool to have at the ready whenever you’re feeling stressed and anxious.
Give it a go now. Let me know in the comments if it works for you.
What stress release techniques do you use?