By Ekaterina Murphy, Health Coach & Fitness Nutritionist (@healthbyekat)
It’s amazing how sometimes simple exercises can be so beneficial for clearing your mind and relieving anxiety within just a few minutes. I like to combine two techniques: the 4-7-8 breathing method, together with an easy hand reflexology exercise.
Through massaging the hand’s pressure points, and breathing exercises, you’ll be able to alleviate stress. So, let’s start and take a look at how the 4-7-8 method works and what it can do for you.
Make sure that you’re sitting in a comfortable position and somewhere that you will not be disturbed for at least the next few minutes.
- Empty your lungs of air
- Inhale through your nose for four seconds
- Hold your breath for seven seconds
- Exhale through your mouth making a whoosh sound for eight seconds
- Repeat this cycle three more times
The 4-7-8 method has the following benefits:
- Decreases tiredness and fatigue
- Reduces anxiety; helps stopping a panic attack if you feel one coming on
- Ideal for handling stress
- Reduces the symptoms of asthma
- Reduces hypertension
- Improves the symptoms of migraines and headaches
Now, let’s move on to your hands. Did you know that your fingers correlate to core feelings and attitudes, including those of anxiety, fear, insecurity, and irritability. Gently applying pressure to your hands and fingers may have an impact on very specific organs.
- The thumb carries the weight of all decisions. It is most commonly linked to the emotions of depression and anxiety. It is also linked to the spleen and the stomach.
- The index finger, which has been linked to the states of fear and confusion as well as the kidney.
- The middle finger is mainly linked to the emotions of anger and irritability. It also helps with liver problems.
- The ring finger is linked to sadness, negativity and digestive problems and respiratory issues.
- The little finger is linked to a state of low self-esteem.
- Taking one finger at a time, hold the finger of one hand with the opposite hand.
- Hold each finger for 1-2 minutes & wait until you feel a pulsating sensation.
- To calm your mind, apply slight pressure in the center of the palm with the thumb of the opposite hand and hold for at least one minute.
Practice these two techniques every day to stay calm and re-establish the balance within yourself.