by Chantal Bufe
If you haven't yet heard of the 4 - 7 - 8 breath, it's time that you do. Knowns as the Relaxing Breath, this is one of the quickest and most effective breathing techniques that can be done anytime, anywhere. Developed by integrative medicine pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil, this technique reduces anxiety, manages stress, and even helps you fall asleep fast.
This is how it works:
- Exhale completely through your mouth and make 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.
Tip: what is essential is the 4:7:8 ratio, not the amount of time spent on each phase. So try it out, slow the exercise down or speed it up - whatever works for you.
PS: this technique is also wonderful for kids, as is the Take 5 breathing technique