It’s amazing how simple breathing exercises can be beneficial for clearing your mind and even relieving anxiety. A popular breathing technique is the 4-7-8 technique, also known as “relaxing breathing,” because it’s ideal for alleviating stress. So, let’s take a look at how the 4-7-8 method works and what it can do for you.
How to do the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Before you actually start the breathing exercise, make sure that you’re sitting in a comfortable position and somewhere that you will not be disturbed for at least the next five minutes. The technique doesn’t take long at all which is why it’s great for all different kinds of people to fit in.
- Empty your lungs of air
- Breathe in gently through your nose for four seconds
- Hold your breath for seven seconds
- Exhale through your mouth by pursing your lips and making a whoosh sound for eight seconds
- Repeat this however many times you think you need to but never more than four times per breathing session
4-7-8 Breathing Benefits
Many studies have gone into deep breathing techniques and it’s been proven that the 4-7-8 method, in particular, is very useful and has the following benefits:
- Decreases tiredness and fatigue
- Reduces anxiety; many credit the technique for stopping a panic attack if they feel one coming on
- Helps you fall asleep if done before bedtime
- Ideal for handling stress particularly at work
- Reduces the symptoms of asthma in children and adolescents
- Can reduce hypertension
- Can improve the symptoms of migraines and headaches
Things to Keep in Mind
You can reap the benefits of the 4-7-8 breathing technique no matter what time of day you do the exercise. However, it’s advised that you do it when you want to feel most at peace or when you’re feeling particularly anxious. The majority of people like to do it when they wake up in the morning because it can provide a good start for their day. On the other hand, some people prefer to do these exercises before they go to sleep. You can also do the breathing technique more than once a day if you feel that you need to.
There are actually several apps out there that support the 4-7-8 breathing technique and they are well worth downloading if you are more productive with technology by your side. The best apps for this are Breathe and Prana Breath: Calm and Meditate.
Even if you’ve never tried breathing techniques in the past, they are definitely worth trying if you often feel stressed and are searching for a more natural cure. Start incorporating the 4-7-8 method into your daily life and you’ll feel the health benefits before you know it.