If you’re feeling panicked, or your blood pressure is rising, take six slow deep breaths over 30 seconds. You’ll feel much better and you’ll lower your blood pressure as well. It’s that simple!

Japanese researchers gathered information from 25,022 patients from clinics and hospitals throughout Japan. Half the patients did the six deep breaths over 30 seconds and the other half just rested for 30 seconds. The patients who did the deep breathing had much greater reductions in blood pressure levels.

So try it. Practice it. Next time you get in your car before a long drive to work take six deep breaths—two and a half seconds breathing in and two and a half seconds breathing out. Relax your shoulders, relax your jaw and try and focus on expanding your lungs so your tummy inflates and then deflates, like a balloon filling with air and then emptying.

This type of breathing will also help you reduce stress hormones like cortisol and increase your rest and relax hormones helping you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Then, if someone cuts you off while you’re driving, or the traffic is crawling along, just do six more breaths and see how you feel.

It’s best to practice this first, quietly, at home. Then it’ll hopefully become your default setting to help you remain calm and healthy during the day.

Study reference: https://www.nature.com/articles/hr200562.pdf?origin=ppub

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© Jane Gabites Psychology 2019.

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