UPDATE: Apparently the best breath practice I have been advocating, is called the physiological sigh, not the psychological sign. I have no idea how I just noticed this. I guess I had some letters turned around in my brain, and it’s funny that no one has said anything different in all the emails, conversations, and trainings I have mentioned this is.
It would be too much to say that I have been on a quest for the best breath work practices for anxiety. But it is true to say, that over the course of the last 10-12 years I have tested out and practiced all kinds of differing breathing patterns to help my anxiety. And to help the anxiety that my clients have experienced.
I have tried varying apps for years such as Headspace, Calm, Breathwrk … just to name a few (I have clients who also love the biblical mediations of Abide). I have tried different patterns such as Box Breathing, 4-7-8 Breathing, etc.
All of these apps and practices have brought great value to my life, and helped me, and many others navigate through anxiety.
But I have to say, that one breath work pattern has stood above the rest, and was one that I only discovered in early 2023.
It’s a pattern that my colleague turned me onto as we were developing our anxiety intensives that we launched last year. It’s called the “psychological sigh”, and has been most recently championed by Andrew Huberman, professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University (also of the famed Huberman Lab Podcast which has taken the world by storm).
This practice has been a game changer for me in my own life, as I daily have to find ways to emotionally regulate myself.
Check out the video below where Huberman explains and demonstrates it on the Tim Ferriss podcast.
And then practice it yourself and see what you think.
One tip: I practice it intentionally several times a day, as well as just doing it in the moment as I notice anxiety within me.