The Fastest And Easiest Way To Chill (Right Now)
Have you ever wanted to just chill?
You know what I mean. You’re in the middle of a hectic day, you’ve had a crazy morning, and you wish -for 5 minutes- you could just chill out to get your bearings.
A lot of people have felt overwhelmed like this. I have, too.
Sometimes it can seem impossible to catch your breath, slow down, and begin again with a calm state of mind.
But I’ve got good news. There’s an easy way you can chill out right now. You don’t need any gadgets or pills. You are already equipped with everything you need…. and it’s right under your nose.
Does it sound too good to be true?
Shall I show you how?
Step One – Become Aware
I’ll wager you’ve heard this before … “Knowing is half the battle.”
And it’s true.
Before you can fix something, you have to be aware there’s something to be fixed.
If you want to repair the stressful situation you’re in, the fist step to chilling out is to be aware that you’re not chill. And the easiest measurement is your breath.
If you’re in a safe place while you’re reading this … check your breathing right now.
How would you describe the rhythm of your breath? Does your breath go … inhaleexhaleinhaleexhaleinhaleexhale?
Where are you breathing? Through your nose? Through your mouth?
Does your chest heave? Or is your tummy moving?
Step Two – Pause
“How you breathe is how you feel” is an excellent observation from World Record Free Diving Champion, Stig Severinsen.
We have a similar saying in yoga … “Your breath is your barometer.”
If your breath is non-stop … inhaleexhaleinhaleexhaleinhaleexhale … chances are you’re stressed out. Yes, there could be other causes, but for now, let’s assume all things are equal and you are just stressed.
Once you’ve observed your breath, the next step is to insert a pause at the top of your inhale and at the bottom of your exhale.
That should make your breathing rhythm go like this … inhale (pause) exhale (pause); inhale (pause) exhale (pause).
And the pause doesn’t have to be dramatic. Something as short as a single heart beat is enough to slow things down enough that you begin to feel more calm.
Stig recommends a 1:2 pattern. That is to say, inhale for 5 heartbeats, pause slightly, exhale for 10 heartbeats, and repeat.
The number of heartbeats is arbitrary. You may need to begin with 3 heartbeats on an inhale and 6 heartbeats on the exhale. The goal is to shoot for a ratio of 1:2.
Step Three – Use Your Nose
According to a blog post from Gaiam, “Breathing in and out through the nose helps us take fuller, deeper breaths, which stimulates the lower lung to distribute greater amounts of oxygen throughout the body. Also, the lower lung is rich with the parasympathetic nerve receptors associated with calming the body and mind, whereas the upper lungs — which are stimulated by chest and mouth breathing — prompt us to hyperventilate and trigger sympathetic nerve receptors, which result in the fight or flight reaction.”
In other words, nasal breathing helps you calm down and end stress.
Other benefits from nasal breathing include:
- Filtering and warming the air as it enters your body
- Production of nitric oxide (not nitrous oxide), which regulates blood pressure and boosts your immune system
- Increased oxygen you get through nasal breathing increases your energy and vitality
There’s a saying in yoga… “Your nose is for breathing and your mouth is for eating.”
Do your best to breathe in and out through your nose. The second best scenario would be to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Step Four – Use Your Belly
Belly breathing (or diaphragmatic breathing) is when your belly rises on the inhale and lowers on the exhale.
True, you’re not really breathing with your belly … that’s anatomically impossible … you’re using your diaphragm to create space for a deeper breath.
According to a blog post from Gaiam, “This movement massages the stomach and vital organs of digestion, promoting good elimination, another way to remove toxins from the body.”
The bottom line is belly breathing is good for you in many ways. It lowers your stress levels, it improves your immune system’s function, and it helps bring relief to your stiff neck and shoulders.
You can check out this helpful blog post (with a video demonstration) to learn more about the many benefits of belly breathing.
Step Five – Implement
“Knowledge is knowing. Wisdom is doing,” Brian Friedman.
It’s one thing to know how to do something. It’s an entirely different thing to apply your knowledge and bring about positive change.
Now you know how to chill out quickly. And it’s as easy as 1-2-3-4.
Make a commitment today to follow the easy steps outlined for you in this article.
With a little bit of practice and as quickly as 3 minutes, you can transform from a state of stress to a state of calm, cool, and collected.
You’ve got this!
If you want to practice your breathing in the context of a yoga class,
check out our highly acclaimed digital downloads.