How to Focus and De-Stress in Minutes

How to Focus and De-Stress in Minutes

We all have busy lives and we tend to forget how important it is to take the time to focus on our breath.  Without breath there is no life. Breath is so valuable in that it is a major source of detoxification.  Many people think we breath in for oxygen… the opposite is true:  We breath out to release CO2. So imagine  if you increased your lung capacity by doing some intentional breathwork just how beneficial that would be for your health and overall wellbeing.

Controlled breathing can cause physiological changes that include:

  • lowered blood pressure and heart rate.
  • reduced levels of stress hormones in the blood.
  • reduced lactic acid build-up in muscle tissue.
  • balanced levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
  • improved immune system functioning
  • increased energy in the mitochondria
  • increased a sense of calm and safety by stimulating the Vagus Nerve
  • refocusing so we can dial in on a task.
Those of you that have known me for a while know that I am a big fan of breathwork.  I personally do intentional breathwork everyday before and after my yoga practice.  It has truly helped me handle life’s ups and down’s. It has also helped me with focus and what I call  a “Change of State.”
If I have been doing something like a project and I start to feel that mental slowness or start to shallow breathe due to the pressure to complete a project on time…  I stop and change my state.
My go to is the Physiologic Sigh.  

How to Focus and De-Stress in Minutes

Did you know that your body also uses your breath to express specific emotions?

Emotions are a delicate balance of chemicals that make us feel a certain way.

For example:

  • when we feel relief, we sigh
  • when we find something funny, we laugh
  • when we are moved emotionally, we cry/sob
  • when we are shocked, we gasp
  • when we are happy, we hum
  • when we are in anticipation, we hold our breath
  • when we are stressed we shallow breathe or even hold our breath.

These various breathing signatures can be utilized as a tool to induce an emotional state in the body. This means that if we breathe a certain way, we can feel a certain way.  It can also be a useful tool as you observe others.  It will help you understand their emotions.

We can experience the emotion after the breath changes or we can create the emotion by changing our breath!

So the next time you want to feel a sense of relief, reduce anxiety, refocus on a project or de-stress, try this…

How to Focus and De-Stress in Minutes with the Physiologic Sigh

  1. Sit up straight and close your eyes
  2. Fully exhale your breath, emptying your lungs
  3. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth
  4. Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your belly and lungs
  5. Now take a few sharp sips of air through your mouth
  6. Hold for a count of ten
  7. Release with an audible sign through your mouth (“ahhhhh”)
  8. Empty your lungs completely
  9. Repeat x 5
  10. Take a deeper breath with each round, fully releasing each time

Start off with the physiological sigh as an easy way to re-focus and calm your nerves  If you’re a parent, coach, or teacher, this is a great technique to use to start your conversation or session.

Here is a link to my Breathwork Handout if you are curious and want to learn more.

For those of you who like visuals here is a link to James Nester’s Youtube (Author of the best selling book Breathe

Have a Healthy Week, Happy Memorial Day and Happy breathing!

Dr Pia