Today I have something practical for all you travelers.
I flew out this past weekend to visit a good friend of mine in west Texas. It was a great couple of days but the flight out there was pretty sickening! We were in this tiny puddle jumper of a plane and had to go through an unholy amount of turbulence.
Obviously all was well and we arrived safely and all that. Yada yada.
But as I sat at my gate for the return flight home, I found myself replaying that experience in my head and felt the anxiety rise.
And that brings us to the 4-7-8 Breath!
I love this breathing exercise because it actually can change your state of mind from one of anxiety, fear, or stress, into a peaceful and calm one.
Let me explain.
When we breathe in through our nose the air we inhale passes through our brain. When we breathe through our mouths the air goes straight into the lungs obviously still necessary for survival but we aren’t achieving the calming effect of more oxygen in the brain.
Mouth breathing is a stress response, so if you catch yourself with a tight neck, shoulders, and are breathing shallowly, take a moment to do this exercise. And while you do ask yourself what is troubling you.
Let’s try it out:
1. Get comfortable in your seat. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4 seconds. Note: It is most helpful if you breathe from your belly and not your chest.
2. Hold that same breath for 7 seconds. You can do it!
3. Exhale forcefully through the mouth. Make sure you’re not exhaling into someone’s face and go for it.
4. Repeat 4 times.
The 4-7-8 Breathe is one of my favorite relaxation techniques. Try it for random things that pop up during the day. You can use it to center yourself at your desk in the morning, keep your cool when you encounter a bad driver, or switch into sleep mode before bed.
And of course before you fly! In case you were wondering, my return flight was like floating on cotton candy. Phew.
Have a beautiful and anxiety-free week!