There are many methods of breathing intentionally and consciously and even courses. Choosing an efficient way of taking a breath is not only critical, as any breathwork technique will benefit you. But the benefits are to be expanded when selective measures are taken. Enter the 4-6 breathing technique.
Breathing exercises and techniques are our salvation in getting through whatever is thrown our way. They’re free, promote overall body wellness, can help to ease pain, keep wrinkles away, and support our mental health.
How the 4-6 Technique is Done
The idea is not complicated, which is nice if we’re treading along the lines of meditation and dealing with the things in life that are complex. Breathing intentionally with this technique looks like:
- Taking a minute to separate yourself from your trigger or situation.
- Sit or stand up straight to align your diaphragm.
- Take a deep inhale for a total of four seconds, breathing slowly through the nose, filling the chest and lower abdomen with air.
- Exhale slowly for a total of six seconds, slowly pushing the air back out through your mouth.
- Repeat as many times as needed.
At first try, you may have trouble exhaling for six seconds, and it may seem excessive. This means you’re doing it correctly, and that you’re pushing yourself to fully feel the breath as opposed to cheating yourself of the extra seconds.
Why Do the 4-6 Technique
Taking a moment to practice this exercise can help to refocus thought about what is necessary because breathing and sending oxygen to the brain are always needed and constant despite outside factors. It gives the mind a retreat from feelings of distress or frustration.
Physiologically speaking, breathing slowly and profoundly signals the nervous system to respond with a state of nurture in comparison to the fight or flight response that is often triggered by stresses.
A similar technique, the 4-7-8 breathing technique, involves the holding of breath in between the inhale and exhale. Give one of these a try next time you find yourself sifting through weeds.