Dr. Andrew Huberman, American Neuroscientist, Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford School of Medicine, shares tools and advice for controlling stress in real-time.
►Special thanks to Lewis Howes for providing this interview! Watch the full interview: https://www.youtube.com/c/lewishowes
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“The fastest way to reduce your stress in real-time is
called “Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia”.
What you need to do is make your exhales longer and/or more vigorous
than your inhales.”
― Dr. Andrew Huberman
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Dr. Andrew Huberman
Andrew D. Huberman is an American neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine who has made many contributions to the brain development, brain plasticity, and neural regeneration and repair fields.
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It's very important that people take Control of their mind and their body in A way that allows themselves to calm Down to reduce the so-called stress Response You're you're too activated you're too Alert you're too agitated and you want To be less alert less activated and less Agitated When we're too activated and we want to Calm down and we're trying to say calm Down don't say don't say the thing that You know you shouldn't say don't do the Thing you don't you know you shouldn't Do and then there's the other kind of Limbic friction which is the world is Happening really fast and we feel buried We're overwhelmed and we need to get More activated we need more energy we Need more energy we need to be able to Lean into life and we're feeling Overwhelmed so the first thing for Anyone trying to navigate stress and Then we'll talk about trauma is to Understand in what kind of stress They're dealing with are you exhausted And having a hard time getting your Energy up or is your energy too high and You're having a hard time getting your Energy down because the solutions to Those are often quite different I'm trying to control the mind with the Mind is like trying to grab fog it's It's Vapors you're never gonna grab it
The nervous system includes the brain But also all the connections to the body To act again and so the when you can't Control your mind you want to do Something purely mechanical all trauma Anxiety Fears they all map back to stress in Some way now you can have stress without Trauma You can have anxiety without trauma but You can't really have trauma without Stress and Anxiety even though there Aren't really strict definitions of the Boundaries between trauma and stress and Fear I think it's fair to say that Trauma is a fear and or stress response That's happening at the wrong times Foreign Over from an experience it's making life Uncomfortable or in some cases Exceedingly challenging On the other side of things when you're Feeling overwhelmed and fatigued there Are two ways to approach that first is The kind of foundation of fatigue which Is almost always poor sleep and Scheduling of sleep this is something That doesn't get discussed a lot I don't Think I've discussed this on any podcast Previously but you know getting better At sleeping is a whole set of practices But sleep is a slow tool it's not a Real-time tool because if you're feeling Exhausted and you have to get up and
Have your day deal with children deal With work deal with life We can talk about how to get better at Sleeping but in real time what you want To do is you want to bring more Alertness into the system focus and Alertness The way to do that is to take advantage Of a very Well-established medical fact all Medical students learn this all MBS know This which is that there's a direct Relationship between how you breathe in Your heart rate so When we inhale When we inhale it almost feels like Everything's moving up but actually what Happens is our diaphragm moves down when That happens our heart literally gets a Little bit bigger the volume of the Heart gets a little bit bigger which Means that whatever blood in there is Moving per unit time a little bit slower And there's a set of neurons in the Heart called the sinoatrial node that Sends a signal to the brain and says hey Blood flow is slowing down and the Brain Sends a signal back to the heart and Says okay let's speed up and speeds up The heart rate so the short concise way To put it is when you inhale more Vigorously or longer you're speeding up Your heart rate this is uh this actually There's a name for it in the medical
Community but the important thing to Understand is as you inhale you're Sending a neural signal to your heart to Speed up and when you exhale the Diaphragm moves up The heart gets a little bit smaller Literally because there's less space Then there's a signal sent to the brain And the Brain sends a signal back and Says slow down the heart rate so if you Want to become more alert you actually Can just simply make your inhales a Little bit more vigorous or a little bit Longer than your exhale longer or more Vigorous inhales will speed up your Heart rate and make you more alert Longer or more vigorous exhales will Slow down your heart rate and make you Less alert the repetitive breathing more Quickly and deeply this kind of thing Or some variant of that all through the Mouth or all through the nose brings up The heart rate and causes the adrenal Glands which sit right above the kidneys To secrete adrenaline they make you more Alert and you see these big inflections In heart rate when people do this Typically it makes people feel agitated At first they feel a little bit agitated And then when you exhale and hold your Breath for 15 seconds or so or what You're doing essentially is you're Learning to be calm as your body is Flooded with all this adrenaline and the
Heart rate is going and that is 100 Top-down control what you're doing in Those moments is you're learning to take Your forebrain and say fight the Temptation to move fight the temptation To breathe this particular pattern of Breathing 25 or 30 times followed by an exhale and A hold and then a big inhale and a hold Sometimes doing more inhaling and Exhaling type repetitive breathing that Is really somebody training themselves How to self-induce stress and we know From some good literature and some Emerging science that's still ongoing That it is possible to get comfortable In these agitated States so that your Mind is okay feels okay when the body is Feeling like it wants to tremble or move That you can learn to suppress that Activity the ice bath is another good Example of this some people go straight To the ice bath because cold water will Almost always induce a low level of Stress in people you have to you have to Kind of fight it even if you learn to Love it you still have to every time Jumping in there okay I gotta control The Mind essentially.com exactly so the Body is saying this is really cold this Is really cold get out now and you're Pushing back on that it's top down Control pure top down control and you Could do this any number of ways there's
Actually a something called the hour of Pain the um the hour of pain was Actually described to me by a friend of Mine a former military Special Operations guy who said that you they Place you this wasn't through military But this is a kind of outside the Military extracurricular extracurricular Activities of placing you into one Position on on the floor and you have to Stay there for an hour which can be Excruciating there's so much limbic Friction where you want to move so badly Because the stabilizing muscles of the Body and the feedback and on Musculoskeletal system says move move I Just want to move the tiniest bit and so All that practice is it's just a Different version of the ice event it's Your learning top-down control so you Know long exhale breathing lying down on Your back completely relaxing your body And learning to completely turn off Thinking which sounds hard but you can Learn how to do it very quickly if you Do that practice for about 10 minutes Yeah Foreign [Music] [Music] Foreign