Meditation Hack: 4-7-8 Breathing

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As moms, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is meditate. I know whenever I’ve taken the ten to twenty minutes to have a good meditation session, my entire day is better. I’m calmer, more patient and happier. I don’t yell at the kids and I’m nicer to my husband. But finding the time (or more like the headspace since who doesn’t have ten minutes in a day?) is what usually keeps me from making meditation a daily practice.

The 4-7-8 breathing technique from Dr. Andrew Weil is a no-excuses meditation hack you can do anytime you feel on edge. It works wonders in helping you fall asleep if you’re anxious or your sleep’s been disrupted by a 2 am wakeup.

4-7-8 Breathing

  1. Inhale through your nose to a count of four.
  2. Hold your breath for seven.
  3. Exhale through your mouth to a count of eight.

It’s recommended to do up to four rounds, though I’ve read about some people falling asleep before they finish the first round. That hasn’t happened for me, but I find my heart rate slows and my anxiety lessons. When I return to normal breathing, it’s deeper and more relaxed. If I’m suffering from my periodic insomnia, this really helps me konk out.

Dr. Weil says to do this twice a day, every day, for months (years, the rest of your life) because the benefits come from the continual practice of it.

It’s so simple—and literally takes seconds—so give it go!

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Maggie Kim

Maggie Kim is a writer, musician and the founder of LES LOLOS.

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