Tip Tuesday: How to breathe yourself to sleep

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This is a platform where we share ways to build a healthy, happy life because happiness is built not bought. On Tip Tuesdays, I share one tip a week related to a common theme.
The current theme is


This week we learn:


breathe to sleep
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

 I lay in bed with my mind racing: 

  • things to do; 
  • things done during the day; 
  • things I wished I'd done or said, or not done or said, 
  • random thoughts...

all the while wishing I could just go to sleep. The longer I lay there, the more my mind drifted, grasping at one stray thought after another. 

This phenomenon is known as, "monkey mind," and can be caused by stress, caffeine, alcohol, electronics, or other disturbances in your sleep cycle.
(For more about the causes of monkey mind, click here.) 

I knew I had to do something to cage the monkey and get to sleep, so I rolled onto my back and began practicing 4-7-8 breathing, a breathwork technique designed to calm the nervous system, helping the body and mind relax. 

Try the 4-7-8 breathwork technique for yourself

  • Lay on your back with one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. 
  • Inhale to a count of four feeling your abdomen rise first and then your chest.
  • Hold for a count of seven.
  • Exhale to a count of eight.
  • Repeat slowly, rhythmically.

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