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B is for the Breath - An A-Z Guide to Resilience

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

Our mind-body connection is bi-directional. Just as our state influences our physiology, our physiology influences our state. e.g., when we experience a stressful event, cortisol floods the body and our heart races and stomach churns.

As a leadership keynote speaker I always remind my audiences that we can influence this process the other way around. When we exhale longer than we inhale, our diaphragm pushes downwards, our heart expands into the open space, blood flows more quickly, and our brain sends a message to slow the heart down. How clever!

Today's practice takes that to a whole new level.

It's called the Double Breath.

You inhale, then quickly top up with a second inhale. Then a long slow exhale.

Here’s how it works:

Our lungs are not two big bags of air, there are millions of little sacks. When carbon dioxide builds up in our blood, we get stressed. When you re-inflate those sacs, you discard all carbon dioxide at once. Clinical studies have found that a number of these ‘physiological sighs’ brings your stress down very very fast.

Try it and let me know how you get on. Your feedback is valuable to my work as a leadership keynote speaker.

Big ups to Dr Andrew Huberman and the Stanford School of Medicine for their clinical studies.

This is an A-Z guide to showcase some unfamiliar concepts in resilience, originally shared on my LinkedIn and inspired by day-to-day insights from my own experience with burnout and my work as a leadership keynote speaker. Read A (is for Auto-Regulation) here.

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