In this video, you will learn a technique for regulating your system, and bringing your parasympathetic nervous system into the present moment. Dr. Kate explains that we want it present because stress makes it more sensitive. She describes this as us being more “sympathetic to threat,” our brain wants us to stay alive. (Dr. Kate notes that our Amygdala is the one that is in charge of this).
Then she goes on to mention that many of the stressors in our day-to-day life are not actual threats to our survival, though our system can still struggle to decrease its sensitivity to them. And as stress spreads, it can lead to activation/vulnerability to future stressors.
Dr. Kate explains that the topic of this video is based on findings by Jack Feldman, a researcher from UCLA who is studying the biomechanics of breath and identified an opportunity to downregulate our system in 40 seconds or less.
This technique is called “Sigh Breath Practice.” She notes that it is taking advantage of the fact that humans are naturally predisposed to sigh automatically. Dr. Kate states that, if we harness these sighs, we can more rapidly change the way our system is functioning, and even regulate our heart rate. Dr. Kate encourages you to practice this “Double Sigh Breath” 3 to 4 times in a row whenever you feel stressed or distracted.