A clinical psychologist has offered her simple breathing technique that will ease anxiety and soothe your mind in just minutes.
Gabby Goodier, from Perth, Western Australia, said the ‘straw breathing’ exercise has become a ‘go-to’ daily routine for her which involves inhaling through your nose, then exhaling through a drinking straw.
‘The key piece here is that your exhale is longer than your inhale… this is how we activate part of the brain that helps us to calm down,’ she wrote on Instagram.
‘For example if you inhaled for a count of two, then exhale for a count of four. This activates the part of your brain that will calm your nervous system – helping you to find that much needed “calm button”.’
Gabby’s five ‘straw’ breathing tips
1. Practice outside to start with
2. Sit up straight and inhale normally and naturally through your nose
3. Exhale fully through your mouth with your lips pursed (like you’re breathing through a straw; or use a straw)
4. Ensure your exhale is longer than your inhale – this is how we activate part of the brain that helps us to calm down
5. Repeat five times, ideally twice per day
The founder of The Sage Society, an online practice that specialises in health and happiness, said the breathing method helps her get through ‘those days’.
‘The days where my emotional buttons seem to be a little more pushed than normal, where my window of tolerance is shrinking and my ability to call on my calm feels challenging,’ she said.
For beginners, she suggested practicing the breathing technique outdoors.
‘Here’s the thing, calling on this skill when we’re distressed or when we’re feeling that calm evaporate and we’ve never tried it before is going to be hard,’ she said.
‘So I’d love you to practice this outside of these moments to start with. To build up that muscle memory. That habit. So that next time you’re in that space, this little skill is much easier to pull out of your toolkit.’
To get started, simply sit up straight and inhale normally and naturally through your nose.
She said you need to exhale fully through your mouth with your ‘lips pursed like you’re breathing through a straw’ or use a drinking straw.
‘Repeat five times, ideally twice per day,’ she said.
‘I’m not going to lie, some days these tools gets pulled out a lot, but it’s my anchor. My way to manage my regulation so that when my kids are dysregulated, they can call on mine.’
After sharing her breathing technique, many said they couldn’t wait to give it a go.
Those who have tried straw breathing exercises insisted the method has helped with stress relief, with one saying: ‘This really does wonderful things. Very powerful.’
While another added: ‘This strategy is something I draw on almost every single day and it serves me well.’Internet Explorer Channel Network