“Your breathing is your greatest friend. Return to it in all your troubles, and you will find comfort and guidance.”
? Hello and welcome to Day 18 of the 21-Day Self-care Challenge.
? Each day for 21 days we give you an action to complete that will help you to take care of yourself so that you can better take care of the other aspects of your life effectively.
Each of our tasks focuses on either physical, mental or emotional self-care.
You can either follow the tasks as specified or individualize them.
We suggest scheduling off some self-care time in your diary each night so that you keep your meeting with yourself.
Today we are going to focus on some emotional self-care.
✅ Learn 4 – 8 – 7 breathing.
✅ Did you find this exercise beneficial? Share with us in the Self-care Challenge Community Group on Facebook.
According to Healthline, breathing techniques are designed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation.
Specific patterns that involve holding the breath for a period of time allow your body to replenish its oxygen.
From the lungs outward, techniques like 4-7-8 can give your organs and tissues a much-needed oxygen boost.
This breathing technique will help you relax and can be used to aid you in falling asleep.
How to do it
To practice 4-7-8 breathing, find a place to sit or lie down comfortably. Be sure you practice good posture, especially when starting out. If you’re using the technique to fall asleep, lying down is best.
Rest the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, right behind your top front teeth. You’ll need to keep your tongue in place throughout the practice. It takes practice to keep from moving your tongue when you exhale.
The following steps should all be carried out in the cycle of one breath:
- Let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound, exhaling completely through your mouth.
- Close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to four in your head.
- Then, for seven seconds, hold your breath.
- Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.
- When you inhale again, you initiate a new cycle of breath.
- Practice this pattern for four full breaths.
The held breath (for seven seconds) is the most critical part of this practice.
It’s also recommended that you only practice 4-7-8 breathing for four breaths when you’re first starting out. You can gradually work your way up to eight full breaths.
This breathing technique shouldn’t be practised in a setting where you’re not prepared to fully relax.
While it doesn’t necessarily have to be used for falling asleep, it can still put the practitioner into a state of deep relaxation.
Make sure you don’t need to be fully alert immediately after practising your breathing cycles.
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