The Best Breathing Exercise to Decrease Stress & Improve Sleep | Dr. Josh Axe


– I’m Dr. Josh Axe,
Doctor of Natural Medicine and founder of DrAxe.com. In this video, I’m gonna teach you how to do certain breathing exercises that can help you lower
your blood pressure, overcome respiratory issues, sleep better and a whole lot more. Let’s dive in. Now here’s a thing to know. Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine, we’re talking about some of the most ancient forms of medicine, recommended deep breathing exercises to help you heal your body. Now today we live in a
world where we’re constantly holding our breath, we
don’t take deep breaths. And what that does is it
keeps us in what’s called a sympathetic state. If you ever heard your
doctor or somebody say, if somebody gets really
worked up, “Breathe,” and that’s how they’ll calm
their nervous system down? It’s true, most of us are living
in a fight or flight state, which basically means this. It means that our adrenal glands and our stress hormones are
really high all the time, which stresses our our organs and body versus if you can start
taking deep breaths, it lowers cortisol so you age slower, raises melatonin at night
so you sleep better, so you actually start turning
back the clock and anti-aging. Breathing deeply is so
important for so many reasons, and I’m gonna share with
you a breathing technique in just a minute. But before I do, I wanted to mention that medical studies today have shown that deep breathing can
help conditions like COPD, it can help high blood pressure, it can help anxiety, it can even help your digestive health and as I mentioned, it
can help you sleep better, and of course reducing stress. So we want to be deep
breathing on a regular basis. Did you know that a lot
of the ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic exercises
were about deep breathing. Yoga, one of the things
you’ll do is do things like fire breathing or deep
breathing in and out that helps cleanse your body and lungs. But also, it helps calm
your nervous system. The ancient movements
in Chinese medicine called qi gong and tai chi
are doing deep breathing while you’re doing different
types of martial arts and movements at the same time to really help reset your nervous system. And so again, deep
breathing is a great way to cleanse yourself and heal yourself, and here’s the technique I recommend. Now listen, there are so many
different techniques out there on how you should breathe. There’s a 4-7-8, a 5-5-5, 7-7-7, there’s a lot of them, alright? Here’s what I’m gonna recommend
for this video: 5-5-5. You’re gonna breathe in
deeply for five seconds, so. Hold your breath for five seconds, then breathe out for five
seconds, and do that five times. Doing that several times a day can help you reset your nervous system. This is really especially to do first thing when you
wake up in the morning, when you’re in traffic and driving, and before you go to bed at night. Those are the three optimal
times to start doing these deep breathing exercises. And again, by doing that 5-5-5, five in, hold five, five out, by doing that, remember
here’s what you’re doing. You are calming your entire, you’re telling your
brain and nervous system, “Oh there’s no need to
be worked up anymore. “Hey, let’s go ahead and calm that fight or flight response down.” Cortisol can drop,
stress hormones can drop. Your other hormones and organs can now start working properly. Because think about this. A fight or flight response, if you’re working out and exercising, your body is in a little bit
of a fight or flight response, which is fine for the time being, okay? But this is why, if you go out for a run, you can’t eat a cheeseburger
at the same time, or in the middle of a
workout you’ll throw it up. Why is that? It’s ’cause your body is
expending all of its energy. It’s in an emergency mode. Your body is saying, “I’m sending my blood to the extremities and brain.” That’s where all your blood is. So all of your energy now
has left your insides, so your digestive system now is weakened at the time of exercise,
so it’s not digesting. Your hormones are off
in a different balance for what it needs to be
for healing certain organs. That’s what’s happening when
your stress hormones are high, versus when your stress hormones are low, or you’re not exercising,
your body is like, “Okay. “Hey, all the blood can sort
of leave my extremities. “It can go to my center,
helping me digest and balance.” I hope that makes sense,
but that’s the truth. So what breathing can do, breathing is gonna help you digest better. Deep breathing is gonna
help you sleep better. It’s gonna help improve your heart health, it’s gonna help improve
your neurological health, your hormonal health, almost every area of your health improves when
you lower those stress hormones and you do deep breathing. Five in, hold for five,
five out, five times. If you can start doing
that a few times a day you’re gonna notice your health skyrocket and improve at the same time. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this video on how to do deep breathing
exercises for your health.

49 thoughts on “The Best Breathing Exercise to Decrease Stress & Improve Sleep | Dr. Josh Axe

  1. I’m confused, wim hof breathing method taps into adrenaline and it’s supposed to be a good thing but here we say adrenaline is bad………

  2. It's so difficult, though. With all the stresses of life constantly running through my mind, I just can't seem to breath. I can't even eat without feeling sick.

  3. Blessed is this day unto you Dr.AxeπŸ™.
    For approximately 18months my breathing has changed to the point where at times I get a tingly feeling in my chest, face, and arms. I can breathe properly if I'm lying on my back but when standing it's difficult to inhale deeply. In addition this technique, what else do you recommend I do?

  4. Just started college last week and I broke out in terrible cystic acne. Nothing has changed except school. How do I get rid of cystic acne caused by stress? Now I’m stressing about the acne on top of everything else and I’m in a viscious cycle of breaking out. My face hurts πŸ™ I did the breathing exercise, thanks Dr Axe.

  5. Breathing exercises have helped me avoid full on panic attacks. I use an alternate nostril breathing exercise that I learned from Yoga with Adriene here on youtube.

  6. Usually I get bord from the talk but your talk is so interesting
    But deep breathing need clean morning fresh air or any air middle of the day in hot traffic

  7. Dr. Axe, why are your hands so white, lol? Are you cycling or something, and wearing gloves? Thanks for the breathing reminder. I prefer an 8 or 10 count though

  8. Unrelated question but Dr Axe recommends taking an adaptation called Ashwagandha. Does anyone know if this is suitable for people with Addison disease?

  9. Hi Dr. Josh, just wanted to thank you for your great informative and knowledgeable video clips. Great job. I was going to ask you for a favor would you please do some videos on diabetic type 1 in children's age 10….I am sure it will be a very big help to alot people out there… Thank you so much

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