Five Minutes to De-Stressing: A Simple Breathing Technique to Help You Relax
Even the most seasoned mommy can feel overwhelmed. We know, mama. That's why we have something special for you this weekend: a simple breathing technique to help you relax, in just FIVE MINUTES. That's right mama, just five minutes. Everyone knows that great breathing exercises have positive effects on the body. But we just don't have the time, do we? But five minutes? Sneak it in after the baby falls asleep or before you start working again after your lunch break. Either way, today we encourage you, no - we demand that you take five minutes to take care of your mind and body with this very simple de-stressing tip by Dr. Andrew Weil.
The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
Sit in any position that feels most comfortable to you, but keep your back straight. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
Now, exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to 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. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation should take twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; it's the ratio of 4:7:8 that is important.
If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.
How do you feel now, mama? Hopefully you're a little more relaxed, a little more ready, a little more in tune with your body and mind. Enjoyed this tip? Share the link with your mommy friends and check back for more of these quick tricks to a happier, healthier you - just in five minutes!