The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can ALSO be the most overstimulating time of the year. You'll probably hit your breaking point at least once around Christmastime. Between family, shopping, and screaming kids, the stress can add up very quickly. And with your jam-packed schedule you can't always find room for "me" time. So when you think you're about to LOSE IT, here's a 60-second breathing trick you can try.

It works by calming down your nervous system and forcing you out of "fight or flight" mode. Here are the two steps you need to remember:

1. Release. Breathe in through your nose. Then with your lips pursed, do 10 to 15 SHARP half-second exhales through your mouth.

  • You should make a "shhh" or "ffff" sound with each one, like the sound a boxer makes when they throw a jab. It kind of feels like an ab exercise if you do it right.

2. Calm. Close your eyes, and take a series of SLOW breaths. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. But don't let your shoulders move up and down with each breath. Let your stomach expand instead.

  • Repeat the process, and try to slow your breathing down a little more with each breath. For an extra boost, try humming on the exhale.

I carry most of my tension in my neck and shoulders so this definitely made me feel a lot better. Pro tip: this technique can also come in handy during arguments with your significant other. Don't ask me how I know that ;-)

[NBC Better]

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