Joyous Blog

Simple Relaxation Breathing Exercise

May 20, 2017 BY Joy McCarthy

This super simple breathing exercise will help you focus, relax and can even boost your energy. I first learned about it from Dr. Weil. I've been a fan of him for decades, ever since I saw him on Oprah in the early 90's.

This breathing exercise brings your whole attention to the breath and really helps to drown out the noise, that "noise" being your monkey brain. I like doing this at night before bed and find it very effective for those evenings when I'm feeling a little spun from having to work on my computer in the evening. As much as I try to avoid being on my laptop at night, sometimes it's a necessary evil. Balancing being an entrepreneur and a mama is a constant learning experience. Some weeks I feel like I'm winning and other weeks I just have to give in to the reality that I will need to work when Vienna goes to bed. So, this exercise is my go-to!

Breathing with conscious awareness is grounding and centering for the whole being. It has numerous research proven benefits, including:

  • Normalizes the stress response and helps to regulate your emotions
  • Reduces anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and ADD
  • Can lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure

I personally find it benefits me in many ways.

  • It helps me sleep, especially on evenings when I'm working or speaking at an event. 
  • Reduces stress from driving in Toronto traffic (If you drive in rush hour, I'm sure you can relate!)
  • Improves my digestion. While that may seem like a stretch, remember that when you are stressed your digestion shuts down. It's really important to take deep breaths when you're feeling stressed. 

When you think about breathing, you can better oxygenate your trillions of cells which helps boost your thinking power and your energy!

Here is the video of this breathing exercise. 

The nice thing is you can do this anytime you need it and literally anywhere! 

I also review this exercise along with more stress-reducing tips in my Eczema Healing Guide. Eczema is a condition where stress can both cause and make the condition worse. 

I hope you find this relaxation exercise useful. 

Have a joyous weekend!

May 20, 2017 BY Joy McCarthy
Susanna   •   May 26, 2017

love it! if we all could incorporate this into our regimens, we would benefit so much more daily = less stress. I was taught another way 6-6-6 but I think your way 4- 7 -8 is better. The longer we slowly let go of our breathe, we also let go of so much extra stress!! I enjoy your videos! Thanks and have a great weekend! Susanna

Rachel Molenda   •   May 29, 2017

Hey Susanna, So true! Any breathing technique can really work, like your 6-6-6. We just prefer the 4-7-8 rhythm around here, but whatever works best for you! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

David ogilvie   •   May 26, 2017

Like it Joy and Walker. Easy to do and you can do it anywhere. Hope you are both well and getting ready for a great summer. David

Rachel Molenda   •   May 29, 2017

Hey David, So true! I hope you're able to bring this fun little trick with you everywhere you go :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

DonDrea Esnault   •   May 26, 2017

Loved the video; you two are too cute! Thanks for sharing the breathing exercise. I think they will definitely come in hand. I'm going to try it tonight before bed. Thanks again!!

Rachel Molenda   •   May 29, 2017

Hey DonDrea, So glad you enjoyed it! Joy and Walker are quite the duo :) Hope it helped support a restful sleep! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Diana   •   May 26, 2017

First, Thank you. Hope this helps me at bedtime. My questions are: 1) on the exhale, do you exhale thru pursed lips? Beathe in thru your nose,breathe out thru nose or pursed lips? Secondly, does your chest or stomach expand on the inhale? Thank you again.

Rachel Molenda   •   May 29, 2017

Hey Diana, It can definitely help at bedtime! When you exhale, breathe out through your mouth gently and slowly. Your belly should expand on the inhale :) Hope that helps! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Sylvie   •   May 26, 2017

Helpful Breathing video. You and Walker make such a cute couple. I enjoy watching the videos and prefer having information given like that. Makes it more interesting. Keep up the good work. :o)

Rachel Molenda   •   May 29, 2017

Hey Sylvie, So happy you enjoyed it and are loving the appearances of Walker as well! Thanks for the feedback :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Vivian R.   •   May 27, 2017

This was great! I woke up with a headache due to lack of sleep and it helped to take the edge off. I feel relaxed. Thank you! More please!

Rachel Molenda   •   May 29, 2017

Hey Vivian, So happy to hear that! Thanks so much for sharing. We'll get working on some more for you :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Carol   •   May 27, 2017

I like the 4 7 8 breathing. It really makes you focus. You can do it anywhere and no one knows you're doing it.

Rachel Molenda   •   May 29, 2017

Hey Carol, So happy to hear you're enjoying it - and so true! It's a best kept secret :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Stephen A.   •   June 16, 2017

Breathing exercises are really effective if we do early in every morning. Link To Us:


Sandy Pettigrew   •   December 10, 2017

Oh shit!!! oh crap!!! oh crap!!! LOL that aside, it's very calming. Also, I took my daughter to Texas for treatment for her anxiety and the Dr. said she could stop all wars and fighting if she could just teach the world to breathe properly!!! Breathe using your diaphragm not your chest!!!

Rachel Molenda   •   December 11, 2017

YES! Totally Sandy. Breathing is the fastest way to tap into our parasympathetic nervous system (aka "rest and digest") So happy to hear the doctor recommended that! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Mary   •   December 11, 2017

Fantastic Video. Yes would love more. Thanks

Rachel Molenda   •   December 12, 2017

Hey Mary! So glad you enjoyed it :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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