We’ve all been told to “take a deep breath.” Andrew Weil, MD, recommends we take that one step further with this exercise: “4-7-8 breath.” “Doing this daily will induce a feeling of serenity,” says Dr. Weil. “Over time, it’ll give you greater emotional resilience – especially in hard moments.”
1. Rest the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, behind your top teeth.
2. Exhale completely through your mouth, with your lips slightly pursed, to make a whoosh sound.
3. Close your mouth and inhale deeply and slowly through your nose to a silent count of 4.
4. Keep your mouth closed and gently retain your breath for a silent count of 7.
5. Exhale slowly through your open mouth for a count of 8, making the same whoosh sound.
6. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 for a total of four breaths. Perform this twice daily for optimal results.
Prevention Magazine, December 2011