The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a controlled breathing pattern which reaps many benefits. It is based on an ancient yoga practice called pranayama. It gives your body a relaxing effect. It regulates your body's fight-or-flight response that you experience when you are stressed. This breathing technique can be practised anywhere and anytime. If you wake up feeling anxious, this technique is a must-try. Read this article to understand this breathing technique and how it can be helpful for your body and mind.
What Is The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique?
The 4-7-8 breathing, also known as relaxing breathing, is where you breathe for four seconds, hold it for the other seven seconds, and later exhale it for eight seconds. It is a breathing technique that calms your body and mind, reduces stress, and promotes sound sleep. It provides oxygen required by your organs and tissues. Moreover, it aids in restoring the body's equilibrium and regulating the stress-induced "fight or flight" response.
Benefits Of 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Calms Your Mind
The 4-7-8 breathing has a calming effect on your mind. It helps you to stay away from unwanted thoughts and focus on your breathing.
You can try this breathing technique when you have trouble sleeping, as it triggers your body's relaxation response. It makes you focus on your breathing and eliminates distractions in your mind. Furthermore, it decreases your blood pressure and heart rate, which further promotes good sleep.
Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Practicing this breathing technique can help to decrease your stress and anxiety. It activates your body's parasympathetic nervous system and enables you to achieve tranquillity.
It can increase your concentration level and helps you to stay focused.
Along with this, it results in decreased fatigue, reduced hypertension, improved migraine symptoms, and also reduces aggressive behaviour.
How To Practice the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Make yourself comfortable in a sitting or standing position before practicing this breathing technique. Take a few conscious breaths and completely empty your lungs.
1. The tip of your tongue should touch the backs of your two front teeth and point toward the roof of your mouth.
2. Breath out or exhale deeply
3. As you inhale through your nose, mentally count to four. You should not go too fast or too slow.
4. Now, hold your breath to the count of seven.
5. After holding your breath for seven, you need to breathe out slowly at the count of eight by making a whooshing sound.
6. Repeat this process for three to five times.
Practicing it twice a day can benefit your overall health and train your body to respond better to stress. You can practice this breathing technique when stressed at work, during an exam, before sleeping, and after waking up. You may experience lightheadedness or shortness of breath when you practice 4-7-8 breathing for the first time. If this breathing technique is ineffective for you, try other breathing techniques that may help you.