My life is rarely calm and quiet; there are deadlines to make, places to be, and things to do. At the end of one of these days I often find my thoughts still racing and my body tense. There are many different ways to cope with these sensations, and some ways are more beneficial than others. Here are a few things I use to relax my mind and body to ultimately regain my center
I’m not really allowed to have Weil blood running through my veins unless I write about the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not just doing this out of obligation. This breathing practice really is worth its weight in gold. Commit to practicing this twice a day (morning and night) and you will have a tool to combat stress and anxiety in any situation. This calming breath naturally relaxes your nervous system. The more you practice, the stronger this becomes. The 4-7-8 breath is an incredibly powerful anti-anxiety, can lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and even improve digestion.
• While you are learning this sit with your back straight.
• Place your tongue directly behind your teeth.
• Exhale all your air out.
• Inhale quietly through your nose to a count of 4.
• Hold your breath for a count of 7.
• Exhale forcefully through your mouth by pursing your lips (keep your tongue directly behind your teeth, exhale as if you were aggressively blowing out a candle) to a count of 8.
• Repeat this for 4 breath cycles.
You can do this more than twice a day, but never more than 4 breath cycles at a time. After a month of regularly practicing twice a day you can increase to 8 breath cycles at a time.
If you need more instructions click here.
“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil, M.D.
If you find some of these techniques helpful or have some of your own leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.