The Power of the “Physiological Sigh”

Mar 25, 2024 | Mental Health

Do you notice that you might sigh heavily when overwhelmed or stressed? Well, this actually is your body’s way of tapping into the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) system, helping you relax. It’s a natural method for ridding your body—and mind—of excess stress or anxiety.

If you’re a fan of Dr. Andrew Huberman, you’ve probably heard about this concept before. He talks about it on his podcast (And if you don’t listen to his podcast, we can’t recommend enough!). 

So, what is the physiological sigh? How can you intentionally use this technique to combat stress and overwhelm? Let’s dive in!

What is the “Physiological Sigh”?

The basics of this are fairly simply; here’s what to do:

  • Take a deep inhale in.
  • Then, take another inhale (like a quick sip, trying to get that last bit of air in!).
  • Lastly, perform a long exhale, fully expelling all the air from your lungs.

Yes, it’s really that simple.

So, how does this method benefit your body and mind? Here are a few ways.

1. Physiologically Helps Your Body De-Stress

Breathing acts as an on-off switch for our body’s fight-or-flight and rest-and-digest systems. In other words, it can help us tap into our nervous system and calm it. The physiological sigh, in turn, helps release feelings of tension and promotes relaxation via deep breathing. This can help us re-balance and re-set, leading to feelings of peace and tranquility. 

2. Improves Oxygen Exchange

This method is a great way to expel residual carbon dioxide that may build up and hinder oxygen uptake. As we all know, oxygen is necessary for life; it helps create ATP, also known as cellular energy (and what is used by every cell in our body to function properly). 

When we perform this technique, we support our cellular processes and energy levels by ensuring enough oxygen is getting around.

3. Helps Regulate Emotions

Since it physiologically helps the body relax, it can also be a wonderful tool to help us reset our emotional state. Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stress, frustrated, or angry? Try the physiological sigh! You can even perform it a few times until you feel calmer and more re-centred. Will you try this technique?

If you’re looking for more ways to improve your overall wellness, chiropractic care is another tool that can help contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Book your FREE discovery call, and discover how your local Finsbury Park chiropractor can help you! BOOK NOW.