How to Chill Out Guide for Parents and Caregivers by Bryan Post & Susan Kutchinskas

In the event of an  emergency, put the oxygen -- or oxytocin -- mask on yourself first, and then help the person beside you. Here are three simple ways to trigger your oxytocin response when you need a quick dose of calm:

1. Ten deep breaths: People always tell you to take a deep breath because it really works.
It's difficult to breathe slowly and deeply when you're stressed and, conversely, breathing as though you feel calm tells the body/mind to relax. Inhale slowly through your nose, counting to 10. Then, exhale for another count of 10, trying to empty your lungs completely. Don't gasp or force in more air than your lungs can hold; just find a comfortable, consistent pace for drawing air in and out. Repeat 10 times.

2. Make eye contact: Gazing into the eyes of someone you're close to helps trigger the oxytocin response. Our brains naturally switch into the mode of connection when we look into each others eyes. It's not necessary to stare or get into a contest to see who blinks first. Instead, feel free to look away for a moment and then return your gaze to the other person's.

3. Hug: A hug is a safe, socially acceptable way to get a little hit of connection when we need it. (Although it seems like an obvious oxytocin producer, scientists haven't studied the effects of hugging on oxytocin levels.) Hugging brings us back to our baseline of calm and connection.

Source: Oxytocin Parenting by Bryan Post and Susan Kutchinskas
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