Best protocols for reducing anxiety


Here are some effective protocols for reducing anxiety as discussed by Dr. Andrew Huberman on the Huberman Lab podcast:

  1. Cyclic Physiological Sighs: This involves repeating a specific breathing pattern for five minutes a day. The pattern consists of two inhales through the nose followed by a long, full exhale through the mouth. This technique, referred to as cyclic physiological sigh, was reported to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and enhance the autonomic functions related to sleep and heart rate variability 1.

  2. Intense Short-term Stress Protocol: A counterintuitive method studied in mice and explored in humans involves exposing individuals to short (five-minute) bouts of intense stress daily. This was observed to undo the effects of chronic stress and had significant effects on stress reduction in humans. The protocol in human trials involved specific respiration techniques that either calmed or intensified autonomic arousal 2.

  3. Listening to Specific Music: A particular song, Weightless by Marconi Union, was shown to reduce anxiety significantly. Listening to this song for just three minutes resulted in up to a 65% reduction in anxiety, comparable to the effects of commonly prescribed benzodiazepines. The song works by influencing autonomic states and improving heart rate variability 3.

    Breathing for Mood

    Discover a simple, five-minute breathing protocol that can improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and enhance sleep. Learn how this cyclic physiological sigh technique positively impacts various metrics of physical and mental health, as discussed by Andrew Huberman.

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These protocols offer varied approaches to managing anxiety, from physiological techniques to using music, providing multiple options based on individual preferences and responses.