The breathing exercise Hillary Clinton swears by to manage her anxiety, and how to do it.

When it comes to life events that leave us frazzled and feeling out of control, it’s fair to assume that serving the United States as Secretary of State for four years, before running for the position of President against a former reality television star accused of sexual assault, as Hillary Clinton did, would be fairly stressful.

Now, in her post-election book, What HappenedClinton shares how she got through that stress, particularly in the days that followed her election loss to Donald Trump.

hillary clinton anxiety
Hillary Clinton. Source: Getty.

"Friends advised me on the power of Xanax and raved about their amazing therapists. Doctors told me they'd never prescribed so many anti-depressants in their lives. But that wasn't for me, never has been," Clinton writes.


Instead, Clinton 'did yoga, especially breath work'.

"If you've never done alternate-nostril breathing, it's worth a try," Clinton recommends.

To try it - and you can try it right now - follow these steps:

  1. Sit cross-legged
  2. Hold your hand to your nose, with your thumb resting on one nostril, and your fore finger on the other.
  3. Gently block your right nostril, and inhale slowly through your left
  4. At the top of your breath, unblock your right nostril and gently block your left
  5. Breathe out slowly through your right nostril
  6. At the bottom your breath, change nostrils and repeat

Listen: How Hillary spent the hours after her election loss, and how she's coping with yoga and wine. Post continues... 

In her book, Clinton not only explains how to do it, but why it's so effective in diffusing stress in the body.

"The way it's been explained to me, this allows oxygen to activate both the right side of the brain – which is the source of your creativity and imagination – and the left side – which controls reason and logic," Clinton writes.

"It may sound silly but it works for me."

Whether or not alternate nostril breathing has been the key to Clinton's success, or whether it truly silences the consuming anxiety that comes from realising that Trump holds the nuclear weapon codes, we'll never know.

Listen: Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester discuss what happened to Hillary on Tell Me It's Going to be Okay. Post continues...