Breathing is an essential aspect of meditation. It sounds simple, but sometimes it isn't. There are several breathing techniques out there that can pull you into more focused and related meditation. One of those is the 4-7-8 Breath.
The 4-7-8 Breath is a simple, short breathing exercise that can be done anywhere and in any position. I use and find this practice most beneficial when I'm stuck in traffic. It brings instant calm to me in an otherwise stressful situation. It acts as a natural tranquilizer for your nervous system. Tranquilizing drugs work in the begging to calm you but often lose their effectiveness over time, which is why you will feel the need to take more. The 4-7-8 breathing exercise may seem subdued when you first try it but strengthen its effectiveness with repetition and practice.
First, place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there through the process. Exhale completely through your mouth, feel free to make a sound when doing so.
• 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, again making a sound as you exhale completely 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.
In performing this breathing technique, you will always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. Keep the tip of your tongue against the ridge of the mouth just behind your upper front teeth during the whole process. The time you spend on each phase is not essential. What is important is the ratio of 4:7:8. Keep each exhalation twice as long as the inhalation. If you have trouble holding your Breath, speed the exercise up, but keep to the ratio consistent. In this case, you may want to adopt a 3:6:7 ratio breath.
Use this whenever anything upsets you. It will instantly relax you and allow you to react more calmly in any situation. In the beginning, you may feel a little light-headed when you try this. Just shorten your breathing time, and soon this will adjust. You can use this breathing technique to help you fall asleep. Try it twice a day to fully reap its benefits.
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