Fight ‘Email Apnea’ With One Breath

Fight ‘Email Apnea’ With One Breath

Have you ever noticed a moment of breathlessness as you wait for Twitter to load, your email to refresh, or your Bluetooth device to connect? Your muscles seizing up as you wait for your technology to work? Annoyance at your phone your phone temporarily turning into the damn RMS for a whole six seconds?

Photo by Engin_Akyurt

Writer Linda Stone calls it email apnea, and while she recommends the scientifically dubious Buteyko breathing method to fight it, you don’t need to retrain your breathing to relax a bit in these moments.

Any time that you find yourself anxiously waiting for your technology, just take a few deep breaths. Be conscious that you’re waiting, and tell yourself that instead, you are giving yourself a few seconds to take a break. Call it a tiny meditation if you want, call it mindfulness, whatever. But if you get as tense as I do when I switch from the front-room Wi-Fi to the back-room Wi-Fi, you’ll notice it’s just helpful to switch your brain from “I’m annoyed!” to “I’m breathing” for a second.


  • When your UCSD Pascal compiler on 2 floppy disks reaches 99% before failing with a syntax error.

  • With the iphone X, you would have it record your face with an irritated frown as this is what it would have to recognize when it doesn’t work the first time.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!