I’ve always had this problem. I never breathe enough. Or deeply enough. In fact sometimes I catch myself barely breathing at all, just short shallow panting, and I only become aware of that when I start to feel weird, either physically or emotionally. Then I have to stop and take a few deep breaths.
I’m sure most of you have now heard of the 4-7-8 breathing technique, meant to relax, help you sleep, and even do nice things to your body’s wellbeing. I tried it awhile back and actually couldn’t do it (!). I kept panicking while exhaling for 8 seconds. Then I tried it again this morning and it was like… I’ve GOT this! So I am going to try doing it a couple of times a day, and especially when I wake up in the night.
If you don’t know how it works, here you go. Apparently your tongue should be resting against the roof of your mouth, on the ridge behind your front teeth.
- empty the lungs of air.
- breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
- hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.
- repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
I don’t know why they say you shouldn’t do this more than four times in a row, but apparently you can work yourself up to eight times. Worth a shot. Anyone else doing this?