Take A Breather

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Don’t have time to relax?

Anxiety, stress, panic… we all have varying degrees of it from life, don’t we? I deal with my little devils on a constant basis. Recently, Chris Brogan blogged about the book Spontaneous Happiness by Dr. Andrew Weil. While I’m a massive fan of self-help and personal development books, I had never read any of Dr Weil’s writing, and knew of him mostly because I had seen (but never watched) his specials on PBS. I found the book to be an interesting holistic look at what makes us happy and how to deal with those more depressive moments. In the book, Dr. Weil talks about ways to relax and relieve stress. One technique he offers up is a simple 4-7-8 relaxation breathing technique. I have to say, it works amazingly well. It’s like a mini meditation. Now, you might be asking yourself, "when did this marketing blog become a blog about mediation and anxiety?" Fear not… it has not. That being said, I spent a few years volunteering for the non-profit organization called, NABS (National Advertising Benevolent Society), and I can tell you – first hand – that burnout due to stress is a more-than-common by-product of being a professional marketer. A critical part of your health is your mental health (and awareness of it). I think doing this simple (and short) breathing exercise a couple of times per day may, in fact, change your life for the better. The best part about it? You can do it during a meeting or even when someone is talking to you.

This is the 4 – 7 – 8 breathing exercise:

  • Step 1: breathe out. Let it all out.
  • Step 2: breath in through your nose and fill your belly with air (let your belly push out) for 4 seconds.
  • Step 3: hold you breath for 7 seconds.
  • Step 4: release your breath slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds. Make sure that your tongue is resting behind your top middle teeth and you should pucker you lips and make a "blowing out" sound.
  • Step 5: repeat this 4-6 times.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

Here’s Dr. Weil explaining it…

Pass it on.


  1. Most of us live these issues because of a lack of wisdom to perceive the causes and effects for our fundamental happiness

  2. I’ve had those instructions from Dr. Weil taped next to my computer since November 2005. So simple and so effective.
    I actually don’t think of your blog as a marketing blog. I describe it as a ‘business blog written from the perspective of a forward thinking marketing professional’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ahhhh, THANK YOU for this important reminder to simply BREATHE. In one of life’s more amusing “go figure” moments, those of us who sell products designed to help people RELAX often need this reminder more than anyone!
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