Not “wax on, wax off” but like the old adage, it is also an exercise in mindfulness and stress and anxiety management. Breathing. Needed to live, but also something we can exercise to live better.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique was popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil, a renowned American physician and alternative medicine advocate. He is an expert in integrative medicine and has written extensively about various breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Dr. Weil introduced the 4-7-8 breathing method as a simple way to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. It has since become widely used and recommended by many in the wellness and mindfulness communities.
It is the breathing technique I subscribe to on a daily basis because of its many benefits, including:
1. Stress reduction: The technique helps activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing stress levels and promoting a sense of calmness.
2. Anxiety management: Practicing this breathing method can help alleviate anxiety and panic by regulating the nervous system and slowing down the heart rate.
3. Improved sleep: Using the 4-7-8 breathing technique before bedtime can aid in falling asleep faster and improving sleep quality.
4. Enhanced focus and concentration: The method can help clear the mind and improve focus by redirecting attention to the breath.
5. Lower blood pressure: Deep breathing techniques like 4-7-8 can help lower blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health.
6. Mindfulness and meditation: The rhythmic breathing pattern can serve as a form of mindfulness practice, promoting a sense of presence and grounding.
7. Overall well-being: Regular practice of the 4-7-8 breathing method can contribute to a greater sense of well-being, emotional balance, and mental clarity.
This technique is known to help calm the nervous system and induce a sense of tranquility. It’s important to practice it regularly to experience its full benefits.
The 4-7-8 breathing method is a relaxation technique that involves the following steps:
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax.
3. Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4.
4. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
5. Exhale slowly and audibly through your mouth for a count of 8.
6. Repeat this cycle for a few rounds, typically four times, to complete one session.
Remember, regular practice can yield better results.