4-7-8 Breathing Technique
The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as the “relaxing breath” aims to reduce anxiety and help people get to sleep faster. Taking in deep breaths at a certain rhythm is introduced in many yoga and meditation practices as it has shown to offer relaxation. Furthermore, it can aid in controlling anger and managing cravings. The 4-7-8 breathing technique can sometimes be coupled with practices such as mindfulness meditation, alternate nostril breathing, guided imagery and visualization.
HOW THE BREATHING TECHNIQUE BENEFITS THE BODY?
When the breath is held for a certain period of time, the body is allowed to reload its oxygen. By using the 4-7-8 breathing technique, tissues and organs receive an oxygen boost. Furthermore, when the body is under mental stress, breathing techniques as such regulate adrenaline, the hormone responsible for fight-or-flight responses in the body. It further decreases anxiety and mental stress by allowing the mind to focus on regulating breathing instead of thinking about worrying thoughts. This therefore decreases heart palpitations and relaxes nerves.
HOW TO PERFORM THE BREATHING TECHNIQUE?
Firstly, sit in a place that is comfortable for you while ensuring good posture if you are not lying down to fall asleep. Practice placing your tongue behind your font teeth at the roof of your mouth for the duration of the breathing exercise.
To complete the cycle of one breath:
- Allow for air to whoosh from your lips and exhale fully from the mouth
- Seal the lips and inhale from the nose while counting to four
- Hold that breath for seven seconds
- Exhale for 8 seconds through the mouth, making a whooshing sound
The next breath begins a new cycle, practice this cycle four times
Credit: Mental Health