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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Healy

Relaxing Breath (4-7-8) technique

Updated: Jan 10, 2020

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, and whomever you’re with, pause for a sec… Now take in a full, giant, deep breath. Exhale slowly, and pay close attention to how you feel.

A little lighter? More at ease?

The holidays are full of joy and a lot of love, but they can also be stressful and for some people this is the hardest time of the year. Our bodies need more rest during the Winter season, but we often find ourselves busier than ever with shopping, traffic, parties, food, alcohol, and constant stimulation. For those moments where the fun has turned into stress, I give you the “Relaxing Breath” (otherwise known as the “4-7-8” breathing method). This technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil and has proven to successfully (and quickly) reduce stress and anxiety levels.

How it works:

- First, exhale completely through your mouth, making a "whoosh" sound.

- Then close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of four.

- Hold your breath for a count of seven.

- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a "whoosh" sound to a count of eight. (This is one breath.)

- Inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. (No more than four breaths when first starting).

Benefits of the 4-7-8 breathing technique:

- Puts your body into a state of total relaxation

- Helps you sleep better and fall asleep more easily

- Significantly reduces stress and anxiety levels

- Helps to manage cravings

- Helps you control/manage your anger responses (

Make sure to breathe in quietly, and exhale audibly each time. Dr. Weil recommends practicing this method twice a day for the best results… It has worked for me the more I’ve practiced using it, and I hope it works for you too!

Happy breathing, and happy holidays!

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