Calm Energy

Need a boost? Supercharge your morning or afternoon with the Calm Energy breathing pattern. This technique leads to an increase in blood oxygenation, which triggers the release of hormones that’ll help you feel alert and focused.
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the method

5s 2s
INHALE EXHALE

How To

1. Inhale fully through the nose

Inhale as much air as you possibly can on each inhale. Allow the air to travel from your belly up to your chest and head. Fill the lungs completely.

2. Let go through the mouth

Exhale quickly through the mouth and leave some air in the lungs. Keep around 20% of each breath in your lungs on each exhale.

3. Repeat for 1-5 minutes

If you feel light-headed at any point, stop immediately. Use this pattern once or twice a day maximum. Always be sure to balance out energizing patterns with relaxing patterns.

Benefits

Energy, Alertness & Focus

By increasing blood oxygenation, this breathing technique triggers the release of several hormones that increase feelings of alertness and focus: epinephrine and cortisol. Cortisol in high amounts can be dangerous, so it’s important to use this pattern in moderation.

Tips

Inhale through the nose

Mouths are for eating, noses are for breathing. Nose breathing leads to warmer, cleaner air, which helps prevent allergies and illness. It is also up to 18% more efficient than mouth breathing and leads to a 6x increase in nitric oxide. Benefits of nitric oxide include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Increased athletic performance
  • Weight regulation
  • Improved immunity
  • Congestion relief

Use the diaphragm

Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing is up to 7x more efficient than chest breathing when it comes to oxygen delivery. Allow the belly to rise on each inhale for optimal results.

Hold the breath

After 10-15 rounds of this technique, hold the breath for an added boost. Full breaths followed by intermittent breath holds have been shown to improve immunity, decrease stress and improve performance (Source).

Science

The full 5-second inhale followed by a short 2 second exhale increases blood oxygen levels. When blood oxygen levels increase, the body begins to prepare for action. It releases epinephrine, a hormone that helps you feel energized and alert. Because epinephrine is a stress hormone, this pattern should be used in moderation and only when you need it. Balance it with other relaxing patterns like our Stress & Anxiety technique or Box Breathing.

Other Sources: Breath by James Nestor and Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown.