According to science stress makes you sick and stupid. Basically when we get stressed we lose access to our critical intelligence and creativity. Plus stress downregulates our immune system.

Hence the sick and stupid comment…

And I am sure you agree intelligence, creativity and a sense of being healthy are pretty vital to perform at our highest.

Now, during the day, we are exposed to too many situations that can trigger a stress response. Where we feel the heart rate increase and the emotions elevate. We can start to use these sensations as a method to understand how our body is communicating with us to inform us that it is going into a stress response. When we can identify this, we can immediately use the following techniques to bring ourselves back into the present moment and alleviate the sensations of stress.

So how do we do this when we feel the onset of stress or anxiety?

It’s actually pretty simple.

Breathe. But breathe in a way that reduces stress.

Our breath can be a major contributor to activating and increasing the stress response. If you’re feeling stressed out, check how you are breathing, more often than not it is shallow and in the upper chest.

So here’s 2 breath exercises that you can do to radically reduce stress.

The 4,7,8 breath

Do not underestimate the power of this simple breath exercise

Step 1: Exhale via your mouth completely (if no one around you can make a sound emphasis on the exhale)

Step 2: Inhale through your nose slowly for the count of 4

Step 3: Hold the breath for the count of 7

Step 4: Slowly exhale via your mouth for the count of 8

Repeat this four times or up to 2 minutes

The physiological sigh

Some research suggests this is the fastest way to activate the relaxation response in times of stress. This has been shown to be the fastest way – according to recent science –

Step 1: Do a regular inhale. (through your nose)

Step 2: At the end of the inhale, do another short inhale.

Step 3: Slowly let all the air out with an extended exhale.

These 2 breath tools are incredibly powerful to help us navigate the inner terrain of stress. And doing that helps us be more creative, more intelligent and healthier.

Related Tag: meditation for stress