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4-7-8 Breathing

4-7-8 Breathing
Created by Dr. Andrew Weil this is breathing exercise to help you relax: 
  1. First, let your lips part. Exhaling completely through your mouth.
  2. Next, close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to 4.
  3. Then, for 7 seconds, hold your breath.
  4. Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for 8 seconds.

This is one repetition. Try to do at least 4. 

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How it’s done: This one begins with a long, slow inhale, followed by a quick, powerful exhale generated from the lower belly. Once comfortable with the contraction, up the pace to one inhale-exhale (all through the nose) every 1 to 2 seconds, for a total of 10 breaths.

When it works best: When it’s time to wake up, warm up or start looking on the brighter side of things

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IDEAS

  • Breathing fast can act as a trigger for people with anxiety causing symptoms that often accompany panic attacks, but you can use that to your advantage.
  • When you breathe fast and start to feel symptoms that you normally associate with anxiety, it may help you re-interpret those symptoms in a less threatening way.
  • They become less worrisome because they have a clear cause, the same way an elevated heart rate during exercise doesn’t bother us.
  • And if you can connect anxiety to faulty breathing habits, it means you can change the way you breathe and potentially see some improvement.
  1. While keeping your mouth closed, take a deep breath in through your nose, counting to 2. The breath does not have to be deep. 
  2. Put your lips together as if you are starting to whistle or blow out candles on a birthday cake. This is known as “pursing” your lips.
  3. While continuing to keep your lips pursed, slowly breathe out by counting to 4. Don’t try to force the air out, but instead breathe out slowly through your mouth.