When I get stressed I’m, generally not paying enough attention to how I’m feeling physically. Instead, I’m trying to “think” my way out of it and I forget that my mind follows my body. Here are a couple of simple tips for reducing stress, based on how vision and respiration influence the state of our brain, from neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman.
- Widen your field of view – When you are stressed your vision narrows and that narrow aperture has an effect on your brain. You are seeing less visually and mentally. Consciously dilating your vision and widening your visual field so you can see the periphery will allow you to see more and be more relaxed.
- Double inhale – The heart speeds up when you inhale and decreases when you exhale. Reinflate your lungs (and generate a big exhale) by taking a double breath: one deep breath through the nose immediately followed by another short inhale through the nose, then ending with a slow exhale. See this in action here.
I’ve been practicing this for the past few days and it really does seem to work. It’s worth watching this 7-minute video for the full explanation:
I love learning about the connection between our physical and mental states and thought this one was worth sharing.
Remember, the mind follows the body, not the other way around.