How To Enjoy Nature's Chill Pill

Our bodies naturally relax the entire time we exhale. This is because the exhale is what activates our parasympathetic nervous system - the part of our automatic nervous system that slows the heart rate.

Most of the time, our breath is incredibly shallow and "inhale-dominant." The inhale activates the sympathetic nervous system - the other part of our automatic nervous system that is responsible for our fight-or-flight response.

To take advantage of a truly natural "chill pill,"  focus on taking longer, deeper breaths with an exhale that's roughly twice as long as in the inhale. 

Next time you're out of breath or feeling a bit anxious or overwhelmed (or just want to feel calm and at ease), take an inhale for a count of four, hold it for four seconds, then exhale for a count of eight.

Repeat 4-8 times as necessary.

Evan Cook