The Long Exhale
Ever since I learnt that a long exhalation after a shorter inhalation was one of THE fastest ways to access your rest and digest system, I tell everyone. Feeling a bit anxious at the moment? You have to try it. Such a small hack for massive benefit. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. Anyone can do it and it is so easy to put in your relaxation tool box. Yes, you should have a tool box! (And yes, I strongly believe a glass of red wine belongs in there.)
A technique that I teach anyone who will listen is the 4-7-8 breathing method.
Take a deep breath through the nose to the count of 4.
Hold the breath to a count of 7 making sure you are not clenching your jaw. Relax!
Exhale to a count of 8.
Repeat at least 3 times.
I like to do the inhalation and the exhalation through my nose but play around with exhaling through your mouth as well and see how that feels. We are all so different and what is important is finding your own sweet spot.
See, it’s fast and easy! This is also a good one to teach any little people in your life who may need a bit of a reset after chucking a wobbly. (A temper tantrum for any non Australians!)
One thing that is important to remember is that these type of breathing techniques are supposed to help you relax! If you find that holding your breath for 7 counts is doing the opposite (and they most definitely can if you are new to this) try counting out your 4-7-8 a bit faster or alternatively, change the ratio to 3-5-6. What is important is the long exhale…