One of the most popular breathing techniques or exercises is the relaxation breathing exercise known as the 4-7-8 breath. This technique is shockingly simple, takes hardly any time, and can be done anywhere in five steps.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a renowned physician, holistic health author and founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine is the mastermind behind this 4-7-8 breathing technique and claims that his technique will help even the worst insomniac go to sleep in sixty seconds. He describes the technique as “a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.”
This technique is rooted in yoga and based on pranayama, an ancient Indian practice that means “regulation of breath.”
Supposedly this technique can work wonders before bedtime, or any other time you’re feeling stressed. People who have tried this technique claim that it helps calm their anxious minds, reduces tension throughout the body, and eases them into a state of calmness and relaxation so that they can enjoy better sleep.
It works by slowing down your heart rate and encouraging the fast removal of carbon dioxide from your passageways.
How do I do it?
1. Sit up in your bed with your back straight.
2. Press the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth.and keep it there through the entire exercise.
3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
4. Hold that breath for a count of seven. According to Weil, this is the most important part of his technique because holding the breath in will allow oxygen to fill your lungs and thPen circulate throughout the body, produces a relaxing effect throughout the body.
5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
6. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths
It will probably require your practicing this technique twice a day over two months to perfect the technique, but once you’ve mastered it, it will become a more and more effective tool for helping you deal with anxiety and stress in your life.