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With Every Breath You Take

Many people find breathing practices like the 4-2-6 pattern to be relaxing. One reason is that slow, deep breaths with longer exhalations (compared to inhalations) stimulate the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve regulates our “rest and digest” response — the counterpoint to the “fight or flight” response. (If you’re in the mood for a very detailed explanation...

“Out, Damned Spot!”

Oh my goodness. I am SO. TIRED. of washing my hands. I think in part because of the whole “Out, damned spot! out, I say!” aspect to it. My trip to the sink usually is propelled by some undercurrent of dread—fear that the contagion has made its way onto my skin (you know, from the “contaminated” mail or takeout delivery) and must be eradicated, pronto. And yet, it is possible to transform anxious...

“This is What You’ve Been Trained For”

Hi there. How are you? Me? I’m fine. And frightened. And frustrated. And weary. If you had asked me a few weeks back, you might have caught me in the middle of a panic spiral. I am grateful not to have suffered any major losses. My heart breaks for those who have. I am sad about the lesser losses—like a special trip to Europe early in April that had to be cancelled and cannot be replicated...

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