Inhale. Exhale. Assuming it is actually happening right now, do you ever catch yourself thinking, “I feel like I haven’t taken a breath since this morning!” Even though breathing is automatic, we can control and regulate it to help us relax and calm our minds. Inhale. Exhale.
There are different breathing techniques to stimulate different states of mind such relaxation for meditation or focus or to help diffuse stressful situations. Today, we’ll be learning about the Relaxation Breath using the 4-7-8 technique.
- Inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7.
- Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8.
- Repeat this cycle 3 more times.
Soon, you should feel a bit more relaxed and this is your body’s way of telling you that your central nervous system has calmed down. Your heart is beating less quickly. Cortisol, the stress hormone, should now be deescalating through your bloodstream.
As you grow proficient in this technique, that is, you don’t feel like you might pass out from all this breathing; you can increase to 8 cycles. Many people use this method to fall asleep a little better, to relax throughout the day, or while in gridlock at the airport. Give it a try and see that you don’t feel a little less sweaty and anxious! Good luck and take care!