FITNESS

Neuroscientists share 3 exercises they do to relieve stress and anxiety in ‘minutes’

In stressful situations, your brain can feel like your worst enemy, shutting down with anxious thoughts and heart palpitations.

Acute anxiety activates the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is the network of nerves that triggers the “fight or flight” response to perceived danger. But instead of protecting us, it is sometimes an inconvenience. For example, in a job interview and trying to impress a potential future employer.

Fortunately, you have more power over this than you think. As a neuroscientist, I use his three exercises that take just a few minutes to reset my nervous system and calm me down again.

1. Mindful Sigh

You should be sitting comfortably for this. Do it at your desk when you notice the main symptoms of stress, such as shallow breathing, tense shoulders, and an increased heart rate.

  1. Take a long, deep breath through your nose for 5 seconds and hold your breath.
  2. Inhale again quickly for 1 second and hold for 3 seconds.
  3. Exhale slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds.
  4. Repeat this cycle 3 times.

When you take a second, quick breath, the air sacs in your lungs are inflated with air and then deflated when you finish your breath. As a result, the surface area of ​​the lungs increases, releasing carbon dioxide from the body more efficiently. This helps your body relax.

A long exhalation causes a slight increase in pressure on the heart’s receptors, sending a signal to the brain to slow the heart rate.

2. Half Salamander

It is called a half salamander because it moves its eyes without moving its head like a salamander.

  1. Sit or stand in a comfortable position with your head facing forward.
  2. Move your eyes to the right without turning your head.
  3. Tilt your head toward your right shoulder and hold for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Return your head to its original position and look forward.
  5. Repeat the same steps on the other side.

Half salamander stimulates the vagus nerve (the system that controls heart rate), causing the body’s relaxation response.

3. Full Salamander

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