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Do this to instantly switch into a more relaxed state

🎈 Tip: Lengthen your exhale.

There’s a reason why you instinctively let out a sigh when you’re stressed. As Rosie Spinks explains on Medium, it’s a tiny coping mechanism, a way that your body is trying to calm you down. In that brief moment, you’re becoming a little more relaxed, more balanced.

The great thing is that you can activate this response—whenever, wherever—simply by extending your breath. Writes Spinks: “At any moment, actively lengthening your exhale (say, two counts longer than your inhale) stimulates the vagus nerve, which plays the starring role in down-regulating your nervous system, taking you out of a stress response.” It’s a tool that’s always available to you.

🌊 More from Forge on mindfulness in a noisy world:

We All Need to Get Better at Waiting
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How to Practice Gratitude While Cooking, Doing Laundry, and Commuting
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Meditation Can Happen Anywhere and Anytime
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