Reduce Anxiety, Stress and improve sleep with this technique
Wherever you are right now stop what you're doing. Close your eyes, take a big breath in through the nose for 4 counts, hold that breath for 7 counts then exhale forcefully through the mouth for 8 counts. Repeat up to 4 times. How do you feel? Notice any changes?
While you might not feel immediate changes in your body, this breathing practice can help your body in and mind in multiple ways. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, the 4-7-8 breathing method can help you to reduce anxiety, sleep better, manage cravings, decrease stress, improved migraine symptoms, and control or reduce anger responses.
Studies suggest that 6 weeks of practicing breathing that focuses on controlling breath movement, may have a positive effect on a person’s heart rate variability, which correlates with stress, and also improve cognition and anxiety.
All amazing health benefits of taking just a few minutes out of your day to calm the mind and body!
Give it a try! In the mornings before you get out of bed, or maybe after you arise but before you take your first sip of coffee, try just 3 rounds of the 4-7-8 method. Then again as you're lying in bed before falling asleep, repeat this technique 2-3 times.
If you need a little assistance, maybe consider using an app like Breathe which will give you friendly reminders to stop and breathe throughout the day.
*** Some people have reported lightheadedness while practicing the 4-7-8 method. If you experience this, stop immediately and try shortening the duration to a 2-5-6 count.