Breathe Out First…

Anxiety, or feeling “activated”, has been creeping up on me for a few years now. And at the same time, I wouldn’t say that I’m an anxious person.

My playing out of “activation” has been mainly audible sighing. And it could happen anywhere. On my own, with people, in the supermarket. It doesn’t seem to mind where it happens. How delightful! 

It’s part of our human response to stressors that can happen daily. Loads more to say on this but there’s that well-meaning phrase that just didn’t make sense to me: “just take a deep breath in and you’ll feel better”. What if I told you that’s not completely true?

Breathe OUT first…

breathing out calms us down

Irene Lyon, Nervous System Health

Physiology and science both tell us that breathing in causes our heart rate to increase. In even simpler terms, this causes more “activation” or even stimulation. This is not what I want when I’m feeling that ol’ anxiety. I want to get back to a calmer state.

Breathing out causes our heart rate (and lots of other things) to decrease

Irene Lyon

Something simple to mull over. Next time you’re feeling a little “activated”, such a kinder-to-self way of expressing this common occurrence, try this:

  • sit in a peaceful place (it may even be the toilet!)
  • slowly release your air (mouth closed or open, your choice)
  • pausing at the end of the release, let your jaw fall open slightly
  • wait for your body to take in the air
  • rinse and repeat – slowly, effortlessly max 3 times.

Write to me at and let me know what happens the more you do this. Feeling a little “activated” and you want/need to get back to a calmer state, remember:

Breathe OUT first.

Curious about learning about your Nervous System? Loads of researched quality content (and free) stuff here:

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