Did you know there is a simple hack to calm down and think clearly left behind by our distant ancestors? And it only takes a few moments.
Simply holding your breath whilst splashing water on your face activates a primal relaxation process called The Mammalian Dive Reflex.
Found in all mammals, receptors around the nostrils detect cold water and primitive reflexes left behind from our ancestors prepare you for survival under water.
Despite the fact that the majority of mammalian species have lost many of the biological ties that connect us to the oceans (ie. lungs don’t function particularly well underwater), we are still inherently related to our ocean dwelling ancestors and the diving reflex is a remnant of some of the features that allowed those relatives of the past to survive in the aquatic environment.
Your heart rate slows, blood is redirected to your organs and brain, improving cognitive processing.
It calms your whole body down in preparation for oxygen restriction.
This is also a great thing to do before going to sleep if you’ve had a busy day.
So the next time you’re feeling fatigued or worried at work, are anxious before giving a presentation or someone is bothering you, rather than grab another coffee, go (very) old school and splash some cold water on your face!
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