Entertainment And News

Neuroscientist Explains The 1-Second Trick That Can Calm You Down Instantly

Photo: meric tuna / Unsplash
woman laying in a field of flowers

Of the many perils of modern-day life, one definitive aspect of being a person walking this earth means learning how to navigate stressful situations.

Existing in relation to other people can be inherently stressful, whether it be in the workplace, in intimate relationships, or in the completion of menial tasks, like grocery shopping or paying bills. It seems like we’re always seeking ways to reduce our stress levels, whether through diet, exercise, or various attempts at rest and relaxation. 

A neuroscientist shared a one-second trick called the physiological sigh that can calm you down instantly. 

Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and researcher at Stanford University. A recent TikTok shared on an Andrew Huberman fan account featured the neuroscientist explaining an easily-accessible technique for calming down quickly. 

In the TikTok, Huberman stated, “The physiological sigh is the fastest, hard-wired way for us to eliminate this stressful response in our body quickly, in real-time.”



RELATED: Man Helps People Meditate Without Meditating — 'You Cracked The Code For Us ADHD People'

He explained that the “physiological sigh is something that we do spontaneously. But when you’re feeling stressed, you can do a double inhale, long exhale. When we do a double inhale, even if the second inhale is sneaking in just a tiny bit more air, because it’s kind of hard to get two deep inhales back to back. Deep inhale, then another little one sneaking it in.”

Huberman explained the reason why inhaling twice in a row, then exhaling, creates an immediate sense of calm.

He described how our lungs are actually made up, stating, “Your lungs aren’t just two big bags, but you’ve got millions of little sacs throughout the lungs that actually make the surface area of your lungs as big as a tennis court. Those tend to collapse as we get stressed.”

RELATED: 15 Self-Soothing Techniques To Manage Your Anxiety & Stress

He reiterated just how important it is to breathe, in order to release the tension we innately hold in our bodies, just by virtue of being alive.  

“When you do the double inhale, exhale, the double inhale reinflates those little sacs of the lungs,” he explained. “And then when you do the long exhale, that long exhale is much more effective at ridding your body and bloodstream of carbon dioxide, which relaxes you very quickly.”  

As one of the comments claimed, “This is the cure for a dysregulated nervous system. It’s a game changer.”

Another person in the comments posed a question, wondering, “Is that why we seem to do this automatically when we cry? Is that why I feel so calm after a cry?”

One parent noted that she’s already instilling this stress-release technique in her kids, saying, “I call this ‘bunny-breaths’ with my children.”

Our world is saturated with different ways to destress, some more accessible than others.

Yet as Huberman emphasizes with this particular technique, the best way to stay calm is to be present in our bodies and remember to breathe. There are bound to be days where releasing all our stress seems impossible but by practicing Huberman's double inhale-exhale technique, we can ground ourselves and give our bodies a small, well-deserved break. 

RELATED: The Brilliant Mindset Trick That Stops An Overthinking Spiral With Just 8 Words And A Deep Breath

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers mental health, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.