To use the above relaxation technique all you have to remember is the ratio 4 – 7 – 8.
1) Sit comfortably with your back straight, or if you wish you can lie down; if you must, lean on a wall but find somewhere relatively quiet and out of the way.
2) Focus on ‘just one thing’. If you decide to close your eyes focus on your breathing. If you decide to leave your eyes open focus on a point on the wall, above eye level directly in front of you.
3) Exhale completely through your mouth. Inhale ‘quietly’ through your nose to the count of 4.
4) Hold your breath for the count of 7.
5) Exhale ‘forcefully’ through your mouth to a count of 8.
6) Repeat steps 2 through to 4 three more times for a total of four breath cycles.
Don’t be surprised if at first you feel a little light headed, it’s only the oxygen re-energising you. Also, as you become comfortable with the technique you can increase the breath cycles to 8 but no more.
This is about clearing our heads so we can think clearly. Essentially we’re creating the relaxation response.
The technique was created by Dr Andrew Weil, a Harvard trained medical doctor.
Find times during your day when you can tag this exercise on the at the end of doing something.
For example, the you go to the loo when you finish, before you wash your hands and go back to your day, do this exercise.
If you’re making yourself a hot beverage do the exercise while the water’s boiling.
When you leave work and you get in the car to drive home, before you start your journey do the exercise.
There are many more times in your working day when you can do the breathing exercise to help you relax a little.