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4-7-8 Breathing to Reduce Stress

By November 7, 2011June 3rd, 2024Breathing Processes, Meditation, Mind Body Tools

I learned this simple 4-7-8 breathing meditation from Dr Andrew Weil. It only takes 2 minutes and can relieve your anxiety, lower your stress hormones and do wonders for your body and mind.

Yesterday I had the good fortune of attending a lecture of Andrew Weil MD  at the Ambassadors Conference of IIN (Institute of Integrative Nutrition) in NYC.  Dr. Weil spoke about the damage stress does to our system. 

Cortisol which is released when you are stress is toxic to your brain particularly the part that affects memory. Stress causes us to eat high glycemic foods which lead to inflammation.   So what can we do about it?

Dr. Weil recommends a very simple breathing meditation.  This exercise will neutralize the harmful effects of stress. 

Because breathing is the only process in our body we can do both voluntarily and involuntarily we can affect our involuntary system by controlling our breath…but we have to practice this exercise regularly.  Repetition makes it take root in our subconscious where the effects are profound.

Benefits of 4-7-8 Breathing to Reduce Stress

*Reduces cravings
*Reduces acid build up by lowering stress and pumping lymph fluids
*Clears up chronic digestive issues
*Gives you power to deal with your anxiety by regulating your breath
*Unlike medication which becomes less effective over time this breathing exercise gets more effective over time

Dr Weil’s 4-7-8 Breathing to Reduce Stress

1. Breathe out completely
2. Breathe in through your nose quietly for four counts 1-2-3-4, filling your belly
3. Hold for seven counts 1-2-3-4-5-6-7
4. Breath out through your mouth with a sound for 8 counts 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, pulling your belly in

REPEAT 4 CYCLES only. After a month you can increase to 8 cycles.

Do this anytime you feel stressed.

As maintenance do it twice a day.
In the morning when you wake up (I like to do it before meditation).
In the evening when you get into bed.

Try this and let me know what you think.  Dr. Weil says not to underestimate the power of something just because it is so simple.

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