It’s the weekend before the weekend before Christmas, and if you are like me, your to-do list is much longer than the time available to do it.
A handy habit that you can start now can not only see you through the holiday hecticness, but could have lasting health benefits in the new year and beyond. What is it? Slow breathing.
“We’ve shown that this simple thing has a fantastic series of effects,” said Dr. Luciano Bernardi in Time. You can reduce stress, blood pressure, insomnia and anxiety by consciously slowing your breathing and performing this simple exercise:
1. Sit down
2. Plug one nostril and inhale through the other; hold for 4 seconds
3. Release and slowly exhale
4. Repeat on the other side
5. Do about 4 rounds on each side
Taking slow breaths through one nostril may seem crazy, but it’s worth a try to stave off deep breaths of exasperation this holiday season.
Source: Save your breath by Mandy Oaklander in Time, November 16, 2015, p. 30.