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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Relax

In Forge. More on Medium.

🎈 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…

The pandemic may have disrupted daily life but it sped up our brains. Here’s how to reset your pace.

Woman leaning her head back, eyes closed, with a peaceful look.
Woman leaning her head back, eyes closed, with a peaceful look.
Photo: David Sacks/Getty Images

Is it any wonder the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown our sense of time out of whack? We’ve been forced to “slow down” whether we wanted to our not — barely leaving our homes, canceling social engagements — but at the same time, our minds are moving faster than ever. We’re processing huge amounts of information and dealing with enormous upheaval, flicking between health and politics and work and relationships at a phenomenal rate. Life has gone into overdrive even as it has ground to a halt.

“We need to be clear about what we mean by ‘slow’ and ‘fast’,” says…

Relaxation-induced anxiety is a real psychological diagnosis. Here’s how to tell if you have it.

A tired woman lies on her bed with her arm covering her face and a pillow over her body.
A tired woman lies on her bed with her arm covering her face and a pillow over her body.
Photo: Martin Dimitrov/E+/Getty

My weeknights often contain very little chill: On nights when I go straight home from work, I typically spend the hours before bed doing something utterly responsible. I clean, or I work on freelance projects, or I catch up on all the emails I ignored during the day.

Technically, this productivity is by choice, but it doesn’t really feel like a choice to me: It feels like what I’m supposed to do. Would I rather be watching Grey’s Anatomy while eating a leisurely dinner on my couch? Yes. Does the thought of actually doing that fill me with dread? Also…

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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