(4-7-8) x 4

Published: 2024-05-15 00:00:00

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Have you ever wondered how something as simple as breathing can drastically change the way you feel? The 4-7-8 breathing technique, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, is a powerful method that promotes calmness and relaxation, and leverages the body's natural physiological mechanisms to alleviate stress and anxiety. According to Dr. Weil, "The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere."

The technique is based on an ancient yogic practice called pranayama, which helps practitioners gain control over their breathing. The 4-7-8 pattern of breathing effectively increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, slows the heart rate, and releases more carbon dioxide from the lungs. As Dr. Weil explains, "Breathing exercises are a wonderfully effective way to reduce anxiety, agitation and stress, while promoting relaxation, calm and inner peace."

It is suggested that you'll want to find a comfortable sitting position. Close your eyes and part your lips slightly to exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Then, close your lips and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Then, exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Dr. Weil emphasizes the importance of this rhythm as more than just a technique for relaxation. He suggests, "What is powerful about the 4-7-8 breathing technique is its ability to give people control over their nervous system that they feel they don't have. By practicing regularly, they can actually change their response to stress." Over time, regular practice of the 4-7-8 technique can help reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and may even help manage cravings and pain, showcasing just how powerful breathing can be as a tool for both physical and mental health.

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