A high-flying lawyer who struggled with severe burnout after losing her father in a car accident has revealed the three simple exercises anyone should do when they're stressed.
Loren Hogue, 34, from Melbourne, was working as a junior lawyer in 2011 when her dad unexpectedly died in the accident.
The combination of working long legal hours with helping her mum wind down her business and grieving for her father led Loren to feel like she was barely coping.
She recalled her hair was falling out, she couldn't sleep, she lost 10kg in weight and was anxious and exhausted all the time.
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A high-flying lawyer who struggled with severe burnout after losing her father in a car accident has revealed the three simple exercises anyone should do when they're stressed (Loren Hogue pictured)
After Loren quit her job and spent thousands of dollars searching for answers, she eventually discovered she had the symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system.
Nervous system regulation allows you to maintain homeostasis, access restorative sleep, decrease inflammation, and is involved in memory, auditory processing, learning, controlling sensory processing and more.
In a recent clip shared on Instagram, Loren revealed that there are three things she does to 'relax her body and down regulate her nervous system' when she is feeling stressed, ungrounded, anxious or she just wants to wind down.
'Doing these over time has made me really resilient to challenges and cool as a cucumber in circumstances that would have stressed me out in the past,' Loren said.
Loren (pictured) revealed that there are three things she does to 'relax her body and down regulate her nervous system' when she is feeling stressed, ungrounded, anxious or she just wants to wind down
Box breathing: The facts
* Box breathing is a powerful but simple relaxation technique that aims to return breathing to its normal rhythm after a stressful experience. It may help clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus.
Box breathing is a powerful but simple relaxation technique that aims to return breathing to its normal rhythm after a stressful experience
* To try box breathing, a person should:
- sit with their back supported in a comfortable chair and their feet on the floor
- close their eyes and then breathe in through their nose while counting to four slowly, feeling the air enter into their lungs
- hold their breath while counting slowly to four, trying not to clamp their mouth or nose shut.
- slowly exhale for four seconds
- repeat steps one to three at least three times
* Box breathing has a number of benefits, in that it reduces physical stress symptoms in the body, positively affects emotions and mental well-being and increases mental clarity, energy, and focus. It is also said to improve any future reactions to stress.
Source: Medical News Today
A lot of the exercises are essentially a form of diaphragmatic breathing, which is known for lowering your stress levels, lowering your blood pressure and regulating other critical body processes (pictured)
The first exercise is a simple and 'arm and leg squeeze'.
This is exactly like how it sounds and requires you to squeeze the muscles on your arms and legs in repetitive motions.
'Pay close attention to the physical sensations in the body to further increase introspection,' Loren said.
The second exercise is an eye press, which requires you to put your hands over your eyes and draw several deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
The reason why this is so good for you is because it forces you to shut your eyes down and really helps you to focus on your breath.
It's essentially a form of diaphragmatic breathing, which is known for lowering your stress levels, lowering your blood pressure and regulating other critical body processes.
Finally, Loren recommends you try box breathing.
Box breathing, also referred to as square breathing, is a deep breathing technique that can help you slow down your breathing.
It works by distracting your mind as you count to four, calming your nervous system, and decreasing stress in your body.
To try box breathing, a person should: sit with their back supported in a comfortable chair and their feet on the floor close their eyes and then breathe in through their nose while counting to four, feeling the air enter into their lungs.
Next, they should hold their breath while counting slowly to four, trying not to clamp their mouth or nose shut, then slowly exhale for four seconds and repeat.
Aim to repeat this at least three times.
Previously, Loren (pictured) told FEMAIL that she spent thousands of dollars trying to figure out what was wrong with her, before she found out she had a dysregulated nervous system
Hundreds of people who saw Loren's video were quick to thank her for sharing her advice.
'That was so calming to watch! Love all of these. I particularly like eye presses for a quick reset on stressful days,' one person wrote.
'Great, thank you. Need that,' another added.
A third wrote: 'I do this all the time intuitively completely oblivious to the fact I'm actually regulating my nervous system'.
'I hired psychologists, life coaches, healers, kinesiologists, business coaches, acupuncturists, naturopaths and even shamans in Peru to help me,' Loren said (pictured with her partner)
Previously, Loren told FEMAIL that she spent thousands of dollars trying to figure out what was wrong with her.
'After my dad died I began experiencing what I now know to be the symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system,' Loren told FEMAIL.
'I had gut issues, chronic anxiety and trouble switching off. I had severe brain fog and near-constant pain. I was irritable and emotionally irregular. I didn't know what to do.
'I hired psychologists, life coaches, healers, kinesiologists, business coaches, acupuncturists, naturopaths and even shamans in Peru to help me,' Loren said.
'I tried everything from meditation apps, mindset coaching, EFT, hypnosis, EMDR - you name it. I experienced some results but things still didn't feel right inside of me.'
BEFORE AND AFTER: A high-flying lawyer who struggled with severe burnout after losing her father in a car accident has revealed the 11 things she gave up to transform her health (Loren Hogue pictured before and after)
Loren said no matter how hard she looked, she just couldn't seem to find the answer.
That was until 2020, when she was first introduced to nervous system regulation as a concept.
'I was introduced to it and things finally started to click for me,' she said.
'I realised I didn't have a mindset issue and there wasn't anything wrong with me. I just had a dysregulated nervous system that was stuck in overdrive after years of stress.'
Loren added: 'It turns out that 80 per cent of the nerves in the body are afferent nerves, which means that they run up from the body to the brain.
Warning signs of a dysregulated nervous system
● Gut issues
● Hair and weight loss
● Chronic anxiety and trouble switching off
● Unexplained fatigue and lethargy
● Severe brain fog
● Chronic pain
● Emotional irregularity and irritability
'Only 20 per cent of the nerves go down to the body. This means we need to utilise the body and embodiment practices in order to treat burnout and stress and not mindset work.'
Loren and her scientist and tech entrepreneur husband began to delve deeper into the idea of nervous system regulation, which led them to develop their Neurofit app - which is designed to help people regulate their nervous systems daily.
'I want people to realise that the nervous system is key to overcoming stress and burnout,' Loren said.
'There are body-based exercises people can do daily to assist them and habits people can implement to make them feel better almost instantly.'
Within months of launching Neurofit, the app has already been a huge success.
Loren said their average user reported 54 per cent less stress within just seven days, while within five minutes of doing the neurological fitness exercises, 96 per cent felt less stressed and dysregulated.
Thousands of people have downloaded the app, and they're already seeing big results.
'A healthy nervous system is resilient to internal and external stressors and it significantly influences our behaviour and how we experience the world around us,' Loren said.
'A healthy nervous system can quickly shift out of the negative nervous system states of sympathetic (fight or flight) state, Dorsal Vagal (shutdown and freeze) state and overwhelm state into the more positive states of ventral vagal (read and digest) state, play state and stillness state.'
Without a strong neurological fitness baseline, Loren said people are much more susceptible to chronic stress and burnout, anxiety, health issues and emotional dysregulation.
'Our nervous system mirrors the people around us. If you find a person draining, it is healthy and acceptable to take some distance from them and set a clear boundary,' Loren said.