Skip to content

Inspiration for high achievers: Try a little respiration

A noted stress-reduction expert gave denizens of a notable high-achievement zone a radical tip: Try breathing, Fred Luskin, PhD, told his audience at the Clark Center Auditorium on Stanford's campus.

"It's okay, actually, to breathe." In fact, it's downright good for your health, said Luskin, who besides being a psychological counselor also has some background in cardiovascular prevention research. Yoga has been around for 3,000 years for a reason, he said. 

Luskin is the director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project and the author of several books including Stress Free for Good and Forgive for Love.

Most people who choose to work in a high-achievement zone (a world-class university, say, or a Silicon Valley high-tech company) are already in overdrive to begin with, Luskin said.

"But besides your own propensity," he added, "there's the environment that surrounds you." High achievers spur one another to ever greater feats. That constant gearing up for that next push, Luskin said, carries a cost. "Overdrive is a distortion of your nervous functioning."

The front-line remedy is fairly simple: "It's okay, actually, to breathe." In fact, it's downright good for your health, said Luskin, who besides being a psychological counselor also has some background in cardiovascular prevention research. Yoga has been around for 3,000 years for a reason, he said.

Most people don't realize the effect of shallow half-hearted breathing on their mental and emotional state, said Luskin. "The most important thing about one's emotional state is recognizing one's emotional state. That's a necessary condition of doing something about it."

Popular posts

Category:
Cancer
A better COVID-19 vaccine?

A new way to deliver mRNA as a COVID-19 vaccine may avoid side effects and increase customization to prevent infection.