New 'finger breathing' technique will help you fall asleep much faster
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If you’re the sort of person that struggles to get to sleep, or struggles with stress in your day, there’s a technique you could be employing that will help calm you down and could even make it a bit easier for you to drift off.
It’s called the ‘five finger technique’ – or some variant of that – and you can use it wherever you are and whenever you like, and hopefully it’ll bring you a moment of calm and clarity when you’re in a tough spot, or bring you some much-needed rest when you need some.
The science behind it is fairly convincing, using this simple breathwork technique involving the use of your hands as a prop, you can trigger your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for how we rest, relax, and digest food.
There’s a lot of breathwork techniques that simply require you to focus carefully on your breathing, but this requires you to exercise a couple of other senses – sight and touch – to keep you focused and in the moment.
That means it’s a great mindfulness exercise, can help to boost endorphins – so practitioners say – and can help your brain achieve a deep sense of relaxation.
Oh, and it helps to release endorphins, which make you feel good and are our body's natural painkillers.
We all need a dose of them, from time to time.
So, without further ado – here’s what you need to do.
The first thing to do is hold a hand – either will do – out in front of you with the fingers spread.
Then, starting at the part where your thumbs starts and wrist ends, slowly trace your index finger – from the other hand, obviously – to the tip of your thumb, breathing in deeply as you do so.
When you reach the top, have a short pause, then trace your index finger down the outside of your thumb, exhaling as you go.
All you have to do after that is slowly trace around your entire hand, inhaling as you go up to the tip of your fingers, then pausing at the top for a couple of seconds, then breathing out whilst tracing down.
Try it – you’ll see that it’s pretty relaxing.
Once you get to one end of your hand, just turn the whole thing around and head backwards around the hand, doing exactly the same thing you did the other way.
It's that easy.
You’ll notice that you start to become calmer, and start to be able to focus a bit more on the action of your hand tracing your fingers and concentrating on your breathing.
Keep going for long enough, you might find that you just doze off and go to sleep.
So, the next time you’re feeling a bit stressed or a bit restless, why not give this a go.
Hell, if nothing else it’ll chill you out a bit and take your mind of whatever is causing you stress.