If you practice yoga, study neuroscience, or you’re involved in change work, you may be familiar with this technique. It’s so simple that it almost seems too good to be true. It works by calming your nerves and tricking your body into thinking it’s already relaxed.

You simply have to take a deep breath in for a count of 4, and then hold your breath for another count of 4, before you exhale for a count of 8. That’s a total of 16 seconds. Remember it as 4-4-8.

What we’re doing here is switching our nervous system from a sympathetic state, which is also known as our fight or flight reaction, to a parasympathetic state, which is known as our rest and digest (or calm and connect) mode.

During stressful times, our nervous system becomes overstimulated which creates an imbalance. By using this technique, we are slowing down our heart rate and causing our body to relax, just as we do when we’re rested or sleeping.

Depending on how anxious or stressed out your feeling, you should repeat this breathing technique a few times over. If you are feeling very overwhelmed, repeat it over more times.

If 4-4-8 is too long for you, try 2-2-4, and then increase it. You can also try 5-5-10, but don’t go beyond it.

This technique can also be used to reduce symptoms of a migraine and help prevent muscle spasms and cramps. I recently had an athlete use this on top of some visualisation techniques I gave him, and the following month he outperformed himself and became Player of the Month, along with attracting new positive circumstances into his life.

Let me know if this little trick helps you reduce stress by leaving a comment below.

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Author: Vex King

Vex King is the owner of the Bon Vita lifestyle brand. He is a Mind Coach, Writer and Lifestyle Entrepreneur. He is using his positive influence to spread Good Vibes Only #GVO so that people can fulfil their dreams, purposefully, and enjoy a greater life. You can reach him on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

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