Stressed? Use This Breathing Technique to Improve Your Attention and Memory, with Emma Seppälä

Stressed? Use This Breathing Technique to Improve Your Attention and Memory, with Emma Seppälä

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We really depend on adrenaline throughout
the day. We pump ourselves up; we drink too much caffeine; we over schedule ourselves;
wait till the last minute to get things done and we depend on it. Many people want to feel
that urgency in order to actually accomplish something. However, what happens when we live
that kind of adrenaline filled lifestyle is that we’re exhausting our system. We know that short-term stress can be great.
It can really help you get through a deadline and mobilize you. However, if you depend on
that day after day after day you’ll find that your body becomes worn out, your immune system
is impacted and even your mind, your attention and your memory are impaired through that
long-term chronic stress. On the other hand, if you train yourself to
be more calm rather than always in high adrenaline mode you will be saving your energy much more.
Not to say that you shouldn’t have that intensity and excitement in your life and spend a lot
of energy, but you should really be saving your energy and spending it when you want
to for the big major projects in life, the big events. So this is about energy, conserving
your energy. And this is where calmness comes in and it’s something that’s not very much
valued in American society in particular. We value intensity at all times, whether we’re
at work or whether we’re at play. One of the most effective ways to bring calm
into your nervous system is through breathing. Breathing exercises. In one very interesting
research study scientists looked at the link between emotions and breathe. They looked
in particular at whether emotions will change your breathing pattern. So they had participants
come in and they told them to elicit these emotions within themselves and the scientist
then measured how the participants were breathing, how deeply, how long, et cetera. And what
they found was that low and behold each of the emotions that was elicited was linked
to a different unique pattern of breath. The more interesting part of the study was the
second part of the study. Other participants were brought in and we’re simply given the
breathing techniques that corresponded to the emotions witnessed in the first part of
the study. And what they found was that when they asked of those participants how they
felt the participants said that they felt the emotion that corresponded to the breathing
pattern. What this shows is that our breath can significantly
change the state of our mind. So usually if we’re in a very high stress moment it’s very
difficult to talk ourselves out of it. It’s even less helpful if someone else says hey
call me down. It’s just very challenging to change your mind with your own mind, your
thoughts with your own thoughts. However, if you calm your nervous system, which is
what we do with the breath, then your mind can start to calm down as well. One breathing exercise that’s very effective
requires you to just take your right hand and put the index and middle finger of that
right hand right between your eyebrows and then you just want to place your thumb on
your right nostril and your ring finger on your left nostril. And then you want to take
a deep breath in here. You can go ahead and close your eyes. And then close the right
nostril with your thumb and exhale on the left side. And then inhale on the left side;
deep breathe in. And then closing that left nostril exhale on the right side. So you’re
alternating nostrils. Breathe in on the right side again. Close the right nostril and breathe
out on the left. And then breathe in on the left. Deep breathe. Switch and breathe out
on the right. And then continue in this way switching after each inhale taking long deep
and slow breaths. You can do this for about five minutes. And then when you’re ready you
can open your eyes. And you’ll see a shift in the state of your mind.

98 thoughts on “Stressed? Use This Breathing Technique to Improve Your Attention and Memory, with Emma Seppälä”

  1. Does it work because of the breathing or just because you are concentrating on something other than your stress?

  2. Interesting breathing technique! My personal one is:
    Breath in through nose for 2
    Hold for 8
    Breath out mouth for 4

  3. I think this is why people who smoke find relief from stress in having a cigarette. When you take a drag of a cigarette you're essentially forcing yourself to take a deep, full breath, and then when you exhale the smoke that generally doesn't happen super fast as it can lead to a sore throat. Factor in the amount of time it takes to smoke an average cigarette (depending on the brand, strength, length, and the person) and that's about 5-10 minutes of slower, deeper breathing without even realising it.

  4. the only reason she gets away with this bullshit is because she is hot. too bad she has too many whiteknights and losers around her who dont care enough about her to tell her that she is spewing complete garbage.

  5. In a way she reminds me of the actor Jared in the Sillicon Valey series. How she looks an talks, i dont know 🙂 .

  6. why are the comments on these videos often so negative? It's like people click on the video just to criticise before they even watch.

  7. sorry lady , if you want to get payed these days there is no time to relax take a breath ….just finish a 4 pm- 12:30 am shift .

  8. When will these people learn to stop stealing ancient breathing techniques from Yoga and peddling it as their own. This is called anuloma viloma pranayama and has been practised for centuries in Yoga. At least acknowledge where you steal it from. Talk about plagiarism of the highest kind!


  10. but why? why hold your hand on your face alternating the nose, why not breathe slowly, oujai, or counting, why the nostril thing? is it scientific?

  11. It has really changed my mind's state, i was really stressed.
    i highly recommend to experience it… breathe well to live well

  12. Yeah this is so good; its Tibetan breathing technique to connect both halves of your brain. Simple and works REALLY well, trust breathing is life.

  13. Whenever I'm stressed (which is pretty much every day) I go running. Just about 40 minutes or 8 km more or less. Works great for me.

  14. Oh look, pranayama! Lol i know that, i read miracle stories about it when i was young. I think it helped though, made me calmer, relaxed, helped me meditate a bit – it was a good way to take some time only for myself, which is the whole point of this. Oxygenating yourself properly is a great side-effect too. You can just breathe deeply, maybe close your eyes, keep the air in your lungs for a couple of seconds, and exhale slowly. Focus on your breathing, so you can let go of all the other thoughts that keep you busy.

  15. hey, does anyone know the actual paper for this research (which she refers to)? interested in reading it.

  16. Its a breathing technique from ancient Indian exercise, called "PRANAYAM".
    At least give the credit where you took it from.

  17. That 'one experiment' sounds dreadful. 'illicit emotions within themselves'? Which emotions? How? What was the stimulus? What was the context? Where were they did this? Had this one experiment been replicated? Cargo cult much.

  18. It's called "anoolom-vilom" breathing technique! One of many in "pranayama" @ yoga!! At least acknowledge it lady!

  19. This is why smokers perceive their smoking as a de-stresser. Your'e (usually) sitting and relaxing and your taking and exhaling deep breathes.

  20. "When you feel life go out of focus, always return to basic of life, breathing. No breath, no life" Mr Miyagi

  21. Here's a fantastic short article on the same topic…

  22. I can't close my eyes while driving and I get upset at people who drive like idiots. I usually stop at a gas station or somewhere to get away from the situation.

  23. I am at last year , next week , our finals will begin , whatever , I don't have that ability to study even though I know this is ma future .
    because I am stressed , I cry a lot these days.

  24. The exercise she was describing at the end was actually a variation of a breathing pattern used by monks during mediation/yoga.

  25. Thank you but how come you don't mention that this exercise is actually an ancient yoga breathing practice – nadi shodhana? Nothing new here?

  26. mmmm I don't want to say something rude about this video, I'd better going to smoke something and calm down…

  27. Hata Yoga, it seems, was used for a long, long time: why not mention the origin of the technique you are using?

  28. This video is stressing me out, drawing a sentence or two of information out into a 4 minute video… Holy shit.

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