People are becoming increasingly anxious and sleep deprived as a result of life’s daily stresses and challenges. This is where learning simple exercises to help us relax our minds and bodies comes in handy.
Dr. Andrew Weill demonstrates the 4-7-8 breathing technique (also known as the “relaxing breath”) that he has taught to his patients, colleagues, students, and friends in the video below. This breathing exercise is an anti-anxiety tool that can help relieve stress and tension. It can also be used to help you relax during stressful situations, deal with unhealthy cravings, and fall asleep.
Weill’s technique is very simple and takes less than a minute to perform. Although the exercise can be performed in any position, Weill recommends sitting with your back straight. To begin, Dr. Weill recommends “pressing the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and holding it there throughout the exercise.” You’ll be exhaling through your mouth, around your tongue; if this feels awkward, try slightly pursing your lips.”
Make a whoosh sound as you exhale completely through your mouth.
Close your mouth and take a slow, four-count inhalation through your nose.
Hold your breath for seven counts.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making an eight-count whoosh sound.
This is only one breath. Inhale once more and repeat the cycle three times more for a total of four breaths.
According to Dr. Weill, you must practice the breathing method twice a day for four to six weeks before putting it to use and reaping the benefits.
There are many popular breathing exercises that are part of activities like yoga and Tai Chi that support the idea that conscious breathing has the ability to relax both the body and the mind!
Anyone can benefit from the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, and because it is free, there is nothing to lose by giving it a shot! I’m sure I’ll give it a shot.
Spread the word about this health tip to your family and friends!