Combatting Elevated Stress


Breathing Techniques

Different breathing techniques can be very beneficial for combatting stress.

Firstly to mention breathing right throughout the day.

What is breathing right? Breathing right is breathing with your belly rather with your chest.

Belly Breathing

Belly Breathing/diaphragmatic Breathing and Stress

Diaphragmatic Breathing/Belly Breathing:

When practicing diaphragmatic breathing, the stomach, rather than the chest, moves with each breath, expanding while inhaling and contracting while exhaling. -

In simple words Diaphragmatic Breathing is breathing with your Belly, or Belly Breathing.

How to breathe | TedTalk | Timestamp:433s


Here is a study that examined Belly Breathing. Which stated:

There was a significant interaction effect of group and time in the diaphragmatic breathing condition on cortisol levels, whereby the BIG [Belly Breather Group] had a significantly lower cortisol level after training - study

In the diaphragmatic breathing condition, there was a significant interaction effect of group by time on sustained attention, whereby the BIG showed significantly increased sustained attention after training, compared to baseline. - study

Product Idea: Diaphragmatic/Belly Breathing Tracker

The above study makes you question why isn't there a device that would encourage correct belly breathing.

A possible implementation would be the usage of piezoresistive fabric, worn as a wearable around the belly that would allow to give fairly accurate assessment of the whether the customer is correctly breathing or not.

Cyclic Sighing

Next to mention is not a very intense breathing technique that can be incorporated into daily morning routine or invoked upon when necessary throughout the day without being very intense: Cyclic Sighing.

Cyclic Sighing

A recent Stanford University study has revealed that breath work wins for the fastest means to calm the body and mind. While meditation is a wonderfully supportive resource (and if you do it, keep at it!), many find it challenging to sit with their thoughts and often feel more anxious because of it. Shelly Boggs (Life Force Coach)

The study highlighted “Cyclic Sighing” as the most effective method. How to:

  • Inhale slowly through the nose (belly-breathing), and then take another shorter breath to fully inflate the lungs.
  • Then exhale from the mouth for as long as possible, ideally doubling the length of the out breath.
  • Repeat for 1-5 minutes.

This same method has been mentioned by Andrew-Huberman. However, take note there is a video that uses Andrew-Huberman branding on youtube on cyclic sighing, The guy took 1 cycle of breath from the podcast and expanded it into long form. The Breath time in the video is too fast. (video NOT to follow).

Wim Hof Breathing

Wim Hof Breathing (or Cyclic Hyperventilation with Breath holds) personally is one of the more intense breathing methods.

Wim Hof Breathing

Wim Hof breathing tutorial by Wim Hof

There are interesting studies around Wim Hof Breathing.

For example study that showed that Autonomic nervous system and the immune system can be influenced voluntarily. (Here is a news story related to this study).

Also to note from the same study:

In the intervention group [Wim Hof Breathing], practicing the learned techniques resulted in intermittent respiratory alkalosis and hypoxia resulting in profoundly increased plasma epinephrine (adrenaline) levels. - study

Definitions for above quote
  • Respiratory alkalosis is a condition in which the pH of the blood becomes too alkaline (greater than 7.45) due to a decrease in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood.
  • Hypoxia: the body is deprived of an adequate supply of oxygen.
  • increased plasma epinephrine levels: there is a higher amount of epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) present in the blood.

I don't have a study to link for direct relationship for Wim Hof Breathing and stress. However, from personal experience it helps.

However, it is interesting that something that causes adrenaline to spike up also appears to help with stress. 🤷.



Meditation can a good aid in the mix of combatting stress.

(See also Cyclic Sighing, if meditation is not your cup of team).

Here is a study that showed decrease of stress hormone after months of TM transcendental meditation

The results showed significantly different changes for the two groups, or trends toward significance, for each hormone (includes Cortisol (Stress Hormone)) over the 4 months. - study

Study: Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on adaptive mechanisms: changes in hormone levels and responses to stress after 4 months of practice

Abstract: Stress has been implicated in both somatic and mental disorders. The mechanisms by which stress leads to poor health are largely unknown. However, studies in animals suggest that chronic stress causes high basal cortisol and low cortisol response to acute stressors and that such changes may contribute to disease. Previous studies of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique as a possible means of countering effects of stress have reported altered levels of several hormones both during the practice and longitudinally after regular practice of this technique. In this prospective, random assignment study, changes in baseline levels and acute responses to laboratory stressors were examined for four hormones-cortisol, growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone and testosterone-before and after 4 months of either the TM technique or a stress education control condition. At pre- and post-test, blood was withdrawn continuously through an indwelling catheter, and plasma or serum samples were frozen for later analysis by radioimmunoassay. The results showed significantly different changes for the two groups, or trends toward significance, for each hormone over the 4 months. In the TM group, but not in the controls, basal cortisol level and average cortisol across the stress session decreased from pre- to post-test. Cortisol responsiveness to stressors, however, increased in the TM group compared to controls. The baselines and/or stress responsiveness for TSH and GH changed in opposite directions for the groups, as did the testosterone baseline. Overall, the cortisol and testosterone results appear to support previous data suggesting that repeated practice of the TM technique reverses effects of chronic stress significant for health. The observed group difference in the change of GH regulation may derive from the cortisol differences, while the TSH results are not related easily to earlier findings on the effects of chronic stress.

Hormones Examined

Working out

Working out

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. -

Thus far for aerobic exercise (cardio, when your heart rate goes up), seems to be more important for brain function and stress management.

~ Amount of exercise per week for brain benefits: 3-4 times per week at least 30 minutes per session with elevated heart rate. - timestamped segment from TED talk by Dr. Wendy Suzuki (Neuroscientist)

Natural Supplements

Natural Supplements




  • Half life: 2-4 hours.
  • After 12 hours ~95% of ingredients are out.


Ashwagandha intake was associated with an 18% greater increase in DHEA-S (p = .005) and 14.7% greater increase in testosterone (p = .010) compared to the placebo Ashwagandha in Aging, Overweight Males (

Testosterone may be increased in infertile men (who have a reduction in testosterone) and men undergoing strength training, but there is currently no evidence to suggest an inherent testosterone boosting effect in otherwise normal men. -

When to take it

Best time is unknown at this time.

How to take it

Best to take it every 12 hours.

  • Morning & Evening.

How long to take it?

Supposedly Looses it effectiveness if you take it indefinitely.

Macro cycle:

  • 2-3 months every month.
  • 1-2 months abstain

Micro cycle

  • 1-5 days
  • half to equal of not taking it
  • Example 3 days on, 1-3 dont take it.
  • 4 days on 3 days off.


Lavender oil extract that has shown to effective at decreasing anxiety in a clinical study.

Study on Silexan vs lorazepam

Study Link

Silexan is extract from lavender.

This study is very interesting as it shows comparable anxiety reducing results from Silexan (lavendar extract) and Benzodiazepine/Lorazepam (aka Ativan) (Benzodiazepine same class as Xanax). A low dose of lorazepam was used. But nonetheless the results are quite interesting.

In GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) silexan and Benzodiazepine/Lorazepam (aka Ativan) showed comparable HAMA total score reductions.

However, a thing to note that the dosage of lorazepam used in the study is much lower than what would be typically prescribed for someone with anxiety disorder. A typical prescription of Benzodiazepine/Lorazepam (aka Ativan) is 2-6mg per day. While the study used 0.5mg of lorazepam. Nonetheless its an interesting piece of information to Silexan perform at the level of mini dose of Benzodiazepine.

Dosages in the Study:

  • 0.5 mg lorazepam once a day
  • 80 mg Silexan once a day

Safety Question around essential oils

Safety Question around Essential oils

too many nested note refs


Zoom Out

Zoom out

So often the stress is due to being too zoomed in on something that is out of control and assigned too much importance.

Look at larger span of time. Well past a day, a week or even a year.

Does being stressed create a habit of being stressed?

Look at 10 years. Is being stressed out right now help or hinder your 5-10 year plan?

How about 20 years? Is being perpetually stressed lead to health issues 20 years down the road? Or are you already dead due to being overly stressed?

Hence, zoom out. And with that viewpoint re-evaluate the importance. Do give it what you got (To Optimize to Minimize Regret). But don't worry, while at it. Just do the best you can and leave the rest out of mind.

Asia and Europe: are just small corners in the vast universe.

The ocean: a drop of water.

Mount Everest : a small pile of dirt in the grand scheme of things.

The present: a split second in eternity.

Minuscule, transitory, insignificant. - Marcus-Aurelius


Hozho - Be The Best & Fuck The Rest (Original Mix)


Stoic Philosophy

Condensed Message Of Stoicism

Condensed Message of Stoicism

Stoic philosophy teaches that life's true value lies in focusing on what is within your control and accepting what is not, thereby cultivating inner tranquility. It emphasizes the importance of personal virtue, emotional resilience, and understanding the nature of the world through reason, all as means to achieve a content and fulfilled life.

We don't control what happens to us, but we do control how we react to it. - Ryan-Holiday

Start of Enchiridion by Epictetus

Epictetus starts his The Enchiridion (The Manual) book by

Some things we can control, some we can’t. ... What we can control naturally is not governed, restricted or constrained by others; what we can’t control is naturally governed, restricted and constrained by others. - The Enchiridion (The Manual)

Quote Playlist

Quote Playlist

Personally what has helped me previously is listening to stoic quotes again an again such as:

Stoic Exercises

Stoic exercises such as Memento Mori can be very useful to take you out of spinning in the mundane and looking at things with different vantage point.

Memento Mori: Remember Death


Realization of inevitability of death is realization of knowing your future. The more we embrace our mortality the less fear we have in our life.

Its the strangest thing how thinking about death can be such a peaceful feeling.

You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think. - Marcus-Aurelius

“The final hour when we cease to exist does not itself bring death; it merely of itself completes the death-process.” — Seneca

“We have two lives and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” — Confucius

“With regard to everything that you enjoy, find useful, or love, keep their nature in mind, starting with the smallest things. If you have a favorite coffee cup, remember that it’s a cup; then if it’s broken, you can stand it. When you hug your child or your spouse, remember that it’s a mortal human being you’re hugging; then if that person dies, you can stand it.” — Epictetus

“Keep before your eyes from day to day death and exile and all things that seem terrible, but death most of all, and then you will never set your thoughts on what is low and will never desire anything beyond measure.” — Epictetus

“Everything transitory—the knower and the known.” — Marcus-Aurelius

“To be afraid of death is only another form of thinking that one is wise when one is not; it is to think that one knows what one does not know. No one knows with regard to death whether it is not really the greatest blessing that can happen to a man; but people dread it as though they were certain that it is the greatest evil; and this ignorance, which thinks that it knows what it does not, must surely be ignorance most culpable.” — Plato

"Death smiles at us all; all we can do is smile back." - Depiction of Marcus-Aurelius in Gladiator Movie

"As you kiss your son good night, whisper to yourself, “He may be dead in the morning.” Don’t tempt fate, you say. By talking about a natural event? Is fate tempted when we speak of grain being reaped?" - Epictetus

"Stop whatever you are doing and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?" - Marcus-Aurelius

Do not believe your situation is genuinely bad-none can make you do that. Is there smoke in the house? If it is not suffocating, I will stay indoors; if it proves too much, I’ll leave. Always remember-the door is open. - Epictetus

You want to live but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying and tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different than being dead? - Seneca

"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live."

Walter White Speech on Death

“What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be.”

If you’re desensitized to the fact that you’re going to die, consider it a different way. As far as you’re concerned, this world is going to end. Now what? - Naval Ravikant

If we kept in mind that we will soon inevitably die, our lives would be completely different. - Tolstoy

Basic Truth: We Have a Finite Amount of Time


#philosophy.stoicism (Private)

Focus on what you control

With that also a thought worthy to link here is that we must always focus on what is under our control Do: Laser Focus on What You Control (AntiWorry)

Diving Deeper

Diving Deeper into Stoicism

And if you want dive deeper into Stoicism The Enchiridion (The Manual)(online version is linked in the note) by Epictetus, or Book: Meditations by Marcus-Aurelius. (There are also works by Seneca)

Not Public (Private)

  1. Breathing Techniques
  2. Meditation
  3. Natural Supplements For combatting stress.
  4. Stoicism
  5. Working Out
  6. Zoom Out