"Everything is going to be all good as long as you breathe." This is the advice I would hear constantly throughout my life when things weren't going as planned. At the time, I never understood how breathing could solve all my problems. As I got older and developed a meditation practice, I began to experience the benefits of breathwork: lower levels of stress and anxiety, the ability to think clearer, healing emotional wounds, releasing negative thoughts, and increased levels of happiness. Becoming one with my breath has helped me tremendously, and it can help you too.
We can't discuss breathing methods without talking about the master of breathing himself, Wim Hof. Wim Hof, more known as The Iceman, is an extreme athlete, philosopher, and breathwork genius. He has been able to withstand freezing temperatures through the art of breathwork. Hof's method has been featured in James Nestor's book, Breath. James is a journalist who set out to scientifically test long-held beliefs about breathing.
Through modern research, James and other scientists have been able to prove that we can change the mind through our breath. Making adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can improve the overall quality of life.
I have implemented most of James Nestor's breathwork practices into my meditation. In my experience, using these methods have helped your girl all the way relax. If you're feeling a little tense and looking to realign, then these breathing tactics might be for you!
Here are the top breathing methods to help you come back to the center.
1. Deep Belly Breathing
This breathwork method is the "OG" of all breathing methods. Deep belly breathing is a great way to release any tension in your muscles. Tension in your muscles can be related to stress and anxiety. Deep belly breathing lets the muscles in our body know it's time to relax. The best way to implement deep belly breathing is by laying down. Inhale through your belly and exhale through your mouth by making a whistle shape with your lips. Try your best not to move your chest when deep belly breathing. Repeat at least 3-10 times.
2. 4-7-8 Method
The 4-7-8 method is a personal favorite of mine. I love the 4-7-8 method because it allows me to take control of my breath. When I take control of my breath, it makes me feel like I'm taking back control of my life. The 4-7-8 method is perfect when life feels chaotic.
The 4-7-8 method can seem intimidating at first, but it is quite simple. You can practice this method by sitting up or laying down; inhale slowly for 4 seconds through your nose. When you reach the top of your breath, hold it for 7 seconds. Exhale slowly and count for 8 seconds. Repeat as many times as needed.
3. Nose Song
Now, I'm going to keep it real with you. This is where breathwork can feel a little weird, but I promise you it's everything. Nose song consists of breathing in through your nose and humming. According to Indie Bound, humming helps produce neurochemicals such as oxytocin. When oxytocin is released, it helps reduce stress and induce calmness.
Incorporating breathwork with humming can also help you fall asleep during those long restless nights.
Most prefer to practice 'nose song' breathwork in solitude to avoid being judged. You may practice this method anywhere that makes you most comfortable. Sitting up or laying down are both acceptable when trying this method. Simply inhale through your nose, hold your breath for a beat, and hum when exhaling. Repeat as many times as needed.
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