A sigh of relief


A "sigh of relief" can be understood physiologically as a form of breathing that can significantly reduce stress levels. According to , cyclic sighing, which involves two rapid, sequential inhales followed by a long exhale, is highly effective for inducing relaxation and calming the nervous system. This technique was found to be the most effective among various breathing practices studied for reducing stress, improving sleep, and enhancing mood when practiced daily for about five minutes. It helps shift the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the 'fight or flight' response) to the parasympathetic nervous system (which promotes the 'rest and digest' state) 1 2.

Breathing Techniques

Andrew Huberman discusses a clinical trial that examined different breathing techniques for stress reduction. The most effective technique was cyclic sighing, which involves taking two deep inhales and a long exhale. One physiological sigh can quickly reduce stress levels and shift the autonomic nervous system to a state of calm.

Huberman Lab

How to Breathe Correctly for Optimal Health, Mood, Learning & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast

Summarize How to Breathe Correctly for Optimal Health, Mood, Learning & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast

The episode titled "How to Breathe Correctly for Optimal Health, Mood, Learning & Performance" from the , hosted by , delves into the critical aspects of breathing and its effects on mental and physical health. Here are the key points discussed:

  1. The Power of Breath: The episode emphasizes how controlled breathing techniques can influence brain function, mood, and stress levels, providing tools like cyclic hyperventilation and box breathing.

  2. Breathing Mechanics: It outlines the benefits of nose breathing over mouth breathing which include improved brain function and stress management, and explains the mechanics behind efficient breathing.

  3. Breathing Chemistry: The discussion extends to how oxygen and carbon dioxide levels affect the body, highlighting the role of carbon dioxide in maintaining optimal brain function and the various states induced by different breathing patterns.

  4. Physical Health Aspects: The episode covers topics such as the impact of breathing on heart rate variability and offers practical tips for addressing issues like sleep apnea through improved nasal breathing.

  5. Emotional and Cognitive Benefits: It touches on the connection between breathing techniques and emotional regulation, as well as cognitive performance improvements through methods like breath control during stressful or demanding situations.

This comprehensive discussion not only illuminates the science behind breathing but also provides actionable advice for leveraging breath to enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being.


Are there similar episodes on breathing or health?

Here are episodes similar to "How to Breathe Correctly for Optimal Health, Mood, Learning & Performance" that focus on breathing or related health topics from the :

  1. Dr. Jack Feldman: Breathing for Mental & Physical Health & Performance

    • This episode features Dr. Jack Feldman, exploring the science of breathing and its impact on health and performance. Topics include breathing mechanics, rhythms, and the interaction between breathing patterns and brain function .
  2. How Meditation Works & Science-Based Effective Meditations

    • While focused on meditation, this episode discusses the benefits of breathwork within meditative practices, explaining how these practices can influence mental and physical states .