On Demand Flows: Calm Down
Does anything have less of a positive impact than being told to “calm down” when overstressed, overstimulated, or anxious? It usually has the exact opposite effect.
In fact, it makes many of us agitated, if not angry, to hear it.
But we do need to calm down. All of us. We’re living in turbulent times: political division, the ongoing pandemic, the frustrations and annoyances of everyday life, and on and on and on.
75% of American adults report having moderate to extreme stress in the past 30 days, stress is the #1 health concern for high school students, and roughly 1 out of every 75 individuals may experience panic disorder.
Stress in the workplace costs around $300 billion annually due to absences, accidents, turnover, diminished productivity, direct insurance costs, and employee distraction. It costs an additional $190 billion in related healthcare costs each year.
The State of the Global Workplace report found that daily stress affected 31% of the global workforce in 2009, 38% in 2019, and 43% in 2020.
Meanwhile, American and Canadian workers have the highest levels of daily stress in the world at 57% — an increase of eight percentage points over the previous year — compared to “only” 39% in Western Europe.
Stress and burnout impacts us all, but it’s especially acute for minorities, women, lower income homes, and single parents.
“It’s not that everybody doesn’t have stress in their life, but they have different kinds of stressors, and the gap between the demand and resources is particularly large for certain groups .” –Elizabeth Brondolo, Chair of the Working Members Group
So in spite of our irritation with the phrase, we all really do need to calm down. Today. And tomorrow. And the next day.
And while there are many ways you can do that — diet, exercise, quality sleep — sometimes you need something a little more immediate.
The Nuro App can scratch that itch with the On Demand Calm Down flow.
The Nuro App
Designed by a team of specialists in their fields — including brain research, functional neurology, quantum machine learning, osteopathy, and neuropsychiatry — the Nuro App brings decades of experience and techniques to everyone regardless of location or socioeconomic status.
The goal? Nothing less than helping people everywhere build better brains.
Through the innovative Virtual Neural Scan — a series of simple tasks designed to assess your cognitive flexibility, working memory, long-term memory, and adaptability — and weekly check-ins, the app gives you a real-time and evolving Nuro Lifestyle score and Nuro Stress Curve position.
You’ll be provided with a personalized Daily Brain Flow meant to optimize your performance, get you into the Optimal Zone on the Stress Curve, and improve your lifestyle via movement, nutrition, and recovery tips.
The app also recognizes that we need to deal with challenging circumstances in the moment by offering a wide range of On Demand flows including Start my Engine, Get Focused, Think Better...
And calm down.
On Demand: Calm Down
We may hate to hear it, but we all need to do it. Life moves very fast, and stress and anxiety can come at us from all directions.
We’d all benefit from hitting the pause button and actively calming our body, mind, and brain. During stressful situations, getting ready for bed, before a big presentation, speech, or interview, and so on.
Pause. Calm down. Continue.
What Is It?
The Calm Down flow takes us from tense, anxious, and stressed to calm and relaxed via simple breathing.
Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.
Practitioners know and studies confirm that deep breathing — also known as diaphragmatic breathing — is one of the best and easiest things you can do to calm down.
One study found decreased cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and increased attention levels in a group of deep breathers when compared to a control group that did no such activities.
The technique does take a bit of practice, so it’s a good idea to run it while already calm until you get used to it.
How To Do It?
The biggest challenge is learning to deep breathe properly, whereas the flow itself is beautifully simplistic.
Open the Nuro app > tap the On Demand tab at the bottom > select Calm Down > follow the on-screen instructions > listen to the coaching from Nurosene co-founder Dan Gallucci.
Breathe in through the nose for 3 seconds, then breathe out through the nose for 3 seconds, followed by 4 second sets, and finally 6 second sets.
It’s just a couple of minutes from start to finish, but it effectively activates your parasympathetic nervous system and brings you into a calm state of body and mind.
During moments of stress and/or danger — whether real or perceived — our sympathetic system kicks in our fight-or-flight response as we prepare to defend ourselves or make our escape.
This includes shallow, rapid breathing, tense muscles, and increased heartbeat. Chronic stress can keep us locked into this state for hours, days, or even longer.
But an active focus on deep, slow breathing tells our body, brain, and mind via the vagus nerve that we are safe and secure. The parasympathetic system switches on and eases us into a state of calm relaxation.
Our heart rate drops, our muscles unclench, and our blood pressure lowers. We return to an optimal state of functioning, and our rest-and-digest response takes over.
We are calm. Or at least, calmer than we were before.
Give it a try the next time you need to calm down… without being told.