By: Mark Hyman, MD


This article originally appeared in Six Weeks to an UltraMind.

Relaxation is just as important as exercising. Each of us must intentionally find a way to bring meaning, purpose, peace and serenity into our lives in an active and deliberate way. You don’t have to worry about finding stress. Stress will find you. But relaxation is more elusive.

There are many ways to relax, but often the simplest is the best. One of my favorite techniques is Soft Belly Breathing and I’d like to share it with you now. So do this along with me as you watch this video:

  • Put your hand on your belly allow your abdomen to relax
  • Close your eyes or soften your focus looking at the floor a few feet in front of you
  • Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth
  • Breath deeply into your abdomen and feel it expand to the count of 5
  • Pause for a count of 1
  • Exhale slowly to a count of 5, allowing your body to relax and release tension


How do you feel? If you’re anything like me ,taking that one breath makes you A LOT more relaxed. During the program I suggest you use the soft belly breathing to help you relax. In fact, I strongly encourage you to try my TAKE FIVE method of breathing.

  • Inhale and exhale to a count of 5
  • Do this 5 times in a row
  • And repeat the process 5 times a day during the six-week program
    • Once on waking
    • At every meal
    • Once before bed


Of course, more relaxation is better. But just using the TAKE FIVE method every day will change your life for the better!