If you are feeling stressed and hungry, and looking for a tip on how to control eating habits… try a breathing technique. There are several breathing techniques that can help, especially the 4 – 7 – 8 Breathing Technique, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. This technique has been known to help relieve stress and symptoms of anxiety. It may also help individuals who experience difficulty falling asleep.
How to Deal with Stress by Breathing…
4 – 7 – 8 breathing is a very simple technique and can be used by anyone, anywhere. Dr. Weil describes it as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system”. This technique may be used alone or with other relaxation practices, such as alternate nostril breathing, mindfulness meditation, visualization and guided imagery. If you want to learn how to deal with stress, try this technique, which may help with stress eating.
Please Note: If you experience frequent, debilitating insomnia or symptoms of anxiety, it is important to make your physician aware of these symptoms. Heavy breathing may cause lightheadedness – if you experience signs of lightheadedness while practicing this technique, discontinue the exercise and resume normal breathing.
- This exercise can be done in any position (lying down or sitting), but sitting is recommended while learning.
- Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth – keep it there throughout the exercise (you will exhale through your mouth around your tongue – if this seems awkward, purse your lips slightly instead).
- Begin by exhaling completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound to a count of eight.
This is one complete breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. Discontinue exercise and resume normal breathing if you experience lightheadedness.
Stress Eating and Breathing
Breathing reflects your thoughts and how you feel. Certain situations can cause breathing to become tense, which can result in a lack of oxygen and ultimately… more stress eating. Help your body become relaxed with this breathing technique. Additional breathing techniques are available. Many people are now utilizing the 4 – 7- 8 Breathing Technique instead of finding comfort in food. If you would like to learn more about how to control eating habits, our Medical Team and Nutritionist are ready to help you feel better.