Feeling stressed? This breathing technique might be just the trick you need

In 3, hold 12, out 6

Breathe in, breathe out.
Breathe in, breathe out. (Kelvin Valerio/Pexels stock image)

Did you realize just how powerful our breath can really be?

If you’re having some anxiety, for example, maybe a big test is coming up, you just got cut off in rush-hour traffic or you’re preparing for a job interview, it’s normal, in a way, to get into this “fight, flight or freeze” response -- we’ll often start breathing shallow and rapidly, which puts more adrenaline and oxygen into our system and makes us feel lightheaded.

We don’t want that.

“It’s just not an appropriate response to most of the acute stressors we come across now,” said Terry Rawls, a recent guest on The Best Advice Show, who described the following breathing technique, saying he used to utilize this trick as a psychotherapist.

What Rawls described to podcast host Zak Rosen is called a 3-12-6 breathing exercise.

You get a rhythm going, just tap out a beat with your finger or your toe, and then inhale for three seconds. Hold it for 12 -- or shoot for eight, if 12 seems like too long of a time -- and then let it out for six.

Listen to him explain it in the podcast episode below; it’s only a few minutes long.


About the Author: