For example when you watch LeBron James at the free-throw line what is the first thing he does? Takes a deep breath.
Focusing on the timing and pace of our breath can have positive effects on our body and mind.
A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.
A recent study showed that controlling breathing by counting breaths influences our brain connection to regions related to emotion. Participants were asked to count how many breaths they took over a two-minute period, which caused them to pay focused attention to their breathing.
When they counted correctly, brain activity in regions related to emotion, memory and awareness showed a more organized pattern versus what’s normally experienced during a resting state.
The results are preliminary, but it can safely be assumed that controlling your breathing aligns your brain function and produces increased feelings of calmness and heightened states of awareness.
Let’s talk about today’s tip. We’re going to talk about the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
This has been described as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.”
So here’s how it works.
Find a place to sit or lie down comfortably. You could even do this while sitting at your desk. Be sure you practice good posture, especially when you’re starting out. If you’re using the technique to fall asleep, lying down is best.
Prepare for the practice by resting the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, right behind the top front of your teeth. First, let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound—exhaling completely through your mouth. Next, close your lips Inhaling silently through your nose as you count to four in your head. Then for 7 seconds—hold your breath. Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for 8 seconds. When you inhale again, you initiate a new cycle of breath. Practice this pattern for 4 full breaths. The cool thing about this exercise is you can do this anywhere. Whether you’re on the bus, the subway or just at home.