If you struggle with anxiety, stress, or just need to let your inner bitch unwind, deep breathing can help you turn off your mind and tune into your inner Zen master! We're going to talk about how essential oils and breathing techniques can help you achieve that state of relaxation and tranquility you've been searching for. After all, breathing is important!
There's some pretty interesting science behind breathing techniques and relaxation. When we're stressed or anxious, our breathing becomes shallow and fast, which can exacerbate these feelings. By consciously slowing down our breathing and making it deeper, we can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation and calm.
One popular breathing technique is the 4-7-8 method. You inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8. This technique can help to slow down your breathing and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and many use this technique to sleep faster!
Also known as the “relaxing breath,” 4-7-8 has ancient roots in pranayama, which is the yogic practice of breath regulation, but was popularized by integrative medicine specialist Dr. Andrew Weil in 2015
During the entire practice, place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth, as you’ll be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue. Then follow these steps:
- Completely exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight.
- Repeat the process three more times for a total of four breath cycles.
Essential oils can be used to add an additional layer of relaxation to your breathing practice. You can add a few drops of essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or frankincense to a diffuser and inhale the aroma as you practice the 4-7-8 method. We also make many essential oil blends meant for relaxation that are perfect for using in your diffuser for this purpose. The aroma of the oils can help to promote a sense of calm and relaxation, making the technique more effective.
Another way to use essential oils with breathing techniques is to place a few drops of oil on your hands and inhale deeply as you practice your breathing. You can also add a drop of oil to a cotton ball and place it near your nose as you breathe deeply.