This Quick Trick Can Help When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

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One of the top brain experts shares an easy tip for de-stressing. (Photo: Getty Images)


I had an incredible opportunity to take a deep dive into the world of the brain with one of the world’s leading experts, Dr. Daniel Amen. His knowledge on the effects of sports injury and brain disorders is incredible, but he also gives tips on how to repair and strengthen your grey matter. 

Our conversation was one of the most enlightening and powerful interviews I’ve experienced yet. Dr. Amen not only motivated me to think about my brain health on a much more responsible level, but he also opened my eyes to how important breathing and meditation are to cognitive health. 

Many brain specialists once thought that meditation calms the brain down, but they were wrong — it actually optimizes its function. Meditation fires the brain up, increases focus, and is a wonderful tool to utilize in your life. 

Related: How Meditation Can Improve Your Career

Dr. Amen studied the effects of a 12-minute meditation from Kundalini yoga called Kirtan Kriya, which involves chanting, breathing, and meditation. He found that it has a significant impact on the brain when practiced every day.

He also talked about how breathing can be used to change the way the body functions in a matter of minutes. There are breathing techniques that can immediately reduce anxiety, tension, nervousness, or out-of-control feelings.  

He referred to a technique he calls 5x2x10. If you’re feeling stress-inducing emotions and need to calm down, take a slow inhale for five seconds, hold it for two seconds, and then exhale smoothly and slowly. Repeat the cycle 10 times. You’ll notice an immediate shift in your mind and body. Wow.

Dr. Amen has a prestigious background in psychiatry, neuroscience, and brain health, including founding the popular Amen Clinics and writing New York Times best-selling books. He and his colleagues have built the world’s largest database of brain scans (over 100,000!) related to behavior.

Related: The 10 Healthiest Ways To Relieve Work Stress

But beyond that, he is a passionate champion for creating “brain warriors” — those of us who care as much about our brains as we do our bodies.

I have a feeling you are one of us “brain warriors.” In the podcast below, listen to learn more about the brain and amazing ways to repair it and stay sharp. And if you’ve had an experience with brain disorders or injury (or someone close to you has), there is life-saving information in this interview by a man who knows more than almost anyone on this subject. 

For more on my conversation with Dr. Amen, click here.

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ABOUT LEWIS HOWES: Lewis is a pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur who hosts the top-ranked podcast The School of Greatness. He interviews the best and brightest minds in health, entrepreneurship, relationships and lifestyle. Follow Lewis on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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