Mind Tip Next time you’re feeling stressed, take a deep breath and feel the tension melt away.
Deep breathing stimulates your vagus nerve, which calms your brain and dampens your stress response. When you exhale, suck your belly button toward your spine to push your diaphragm up and let you empty all the air from your lungs. Then inhale deeply to bring a compound called nitric oxide from the back of your nose and sinuses into your lungs. This naturally occurring gas dilates the air passages in your lungs and surrounding blood vessels so that more oxygen reaches every nook and cranny inside your body. With all that oxygen flowing through your body, you’ll be able to breathe easier about what’s weighing on you.
Adapted from YOU: Stress Less — The Owner’s Manual for Regaining Balance in Your Life by Michael F. Roizen, MD, and Mehmet C. Oz, MD.