If you struggle to fall asleep or you’re up all night tossing and turning, give this simple breathing technique a whirl. It’ll knock you out so fast you’ll feel like you’ve been sedated, and you’ll wake up feeling way more refreshed.
Breathing is a process that occurs unconsciously, like digestion, but that you can also take control of to change your mental and physiological state.
When you’re stressed out or amped up, your breathing is short and shallow as your body prepares itself to fight or flee, and when you’re calm and relaxed – swinging in a hammock, it’ll naturally be slower and deeper.
Motivation guru Tony Robbins famously starts his day with 10 energising breaths to pump himself up, but if it’s powering down you need help with, you can also learn how to down-regulate your breath to calm your central nervous system.
Try this technique tonight when your head hits the pillow. Over time, try to extend the time between counts, slowing down both your inhalations and your exhalations.
– Seal your lips and take a deep breath in, completely fill your lungs. Exhale, let all the air out as slowly as you can through your mouth.
– Inhale through your nose for the count of 4.
– Hold your breath for the count of 7.
– Exhale slowly through your mouth for the count of 8. Completely empty your lungs.
– Repeat this cycle 4-8 times.