Sure we are all subconsciously inhaling and exhaling but how often are we consciously breathing?
Breathing is your body’s natural balancing aid. The strength of a breath is extraordinary, check it out:
- A good breathing technique is crucial for striking yoga poses and pilates moves.
- Controlled breathing can help calm stress and anxiety (see the technique below!).
- A deep breath can focus your attention on the tasks at hand and stop your mind wondering into the past or into the future.
- If you are feeling guilty about the lack of time spent with your loved ones and this distracts you even when you are with them, a breath allows you to step back, take stock and start enjoying your time.
In order to get the most out of your breath, especially when anxiety creeps in or stress mounts, why don’t you try the 4-7-8 breathing technique?
Learn the technique:
- sit comfortably, rest your hands in your lap and try to focus internally on your breathing;
- inhale through your NOSE; and exhale through your MOUTH;
- help keep focused by placing the tip of your tongue in contact with the top of your mouth, just behind your top teeth.
2. Inhale a slow, smooth breath for FOUR seconds – allow your lungs to fill up and your abdomen to slight push out;
3. Hold your breath for SEVEN seconds;
4. Slowly exhale your breath through your mouth for EIGHT seconds; and
5. Repeat 10 times or more according to how you are feeling.
The 4-7-8 breath is a breeze to master, it will clear your mind, ease your emotions and give you some relief from your stressful situation.
With all these benefits we should not just use this breathing technique as a last ditched attempt to calm nerves during crisis moments. Start to incorporate the 4-7-8 breathing technique in your daily routine – we suggest that you try it first thing in the morning to fuel your mind and body with oxygen before you leap out of bed and start the day.
Do you have an alternative breathing method which helps you control your emotions when it counts the most? Let us know below!