The Q-Q-S breath – to interrupt stress & anxiety on the spot

Updated: June 30, 2022

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Note: Full credit for this one to Dr. Andrew Huberman. I’ve immersed myself in his material on YouTube for most of last two weeks. He’s an absolute goldmine of information and I’d recommend you signup to at least his podcast if you’re at all interested in getting better at sleeping, understanding and coping with your neurology, and understanding how your brain affects your life (just a few of the many topics he covers).

So my name for this breath is the Q-Q-S – standing for Quick-Quick-Slow (a little like the count for the Quickstep 😮)

This tool is fantastic because it’s been scientifically proven, and then tried and tested and proven by moi. But more so, because it’s stupid-easy and quick, and works every freakin’ time.

The only thing you need to do – is to be aware enough to recognise when you need it, and then to non-negotiably (meaning – without trying to reason with yourself if you should, or shouldn’t) just do it.

I’ve taught it to anyone in my environment that’s willing to listen. And now is your turn :o) (did I mention it’s just short of mind-boggling how well it works!)

Here’s what to do:

  1. Have a think of when are the usual situations, places, people, that tend to trigger stress or anxiety in you? Maybe list them – hah?
  2. If you had to imagine 1-2-3 of those typically stressy situations, where would you say that feeling is located physically in your body?
  3. OK, now you have a way to recognise/become aware of your stress or anxiety inflation points, when you feel yourself going towards stress, or already being stressed or anxious – you: take two deep-ish QUICK inhales through your nose (stack them on top of each other without exhaling inbetween); then a slow exhale through the nose (unless you’re a mouth breather, in which case – exhale through the mouth).

Repeat one more time if you feel you need a bit more reinforcement, but that’s only if you want to put the cherry on top.
Combine this tactic with the “gaze-splay” (will post that soon) look to get an almost incognito and immediate grasp on your neurology in situations that require spy-like covert stress management abilities…

Combine it with the Shaking Zebra to shake off (great pun – i know) an acute stressful episode you may have gust been through.

And finally – it’s worth noting (and you probably already noticed) that the Q-Q-S breath is mapped on to our core A.B.C. algorithm. So not only are you learning a new neurological intervention here. You’re also stacking it on to your ABC which also gives you practice of that one.

Breath is a powerful powerful tool for a lot of things in your physical and mental conditioning. I’ll be sharing a lot more Tiny Little Actions you can learn and slowly stack on to your existing tools collection, so you’re covered no matter what happens to you.

Remember that any of our TLAs can operate on their own, but are so much more powerful when stacked in a recipe of tactics. The more you use the individual TLAs the more you’ll own them and start to see where else they can help you.

Add to them a meaningful Totem to anchor and trigger them in the starting stages, and you’re becoming a Super-heroine with secret powers :o)

As usual – we’d love to hear how you used the Q-Q-S breath and what were the effects (or not). Let us know if you used a Totem, and how?

P.S. Stay curious. Never lose your colour & shine…

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