Tool #8: 4-7-8 Breathing

Today I’m going to teach you another breathing tool that is commonly used in yoga called 4-7-8 breathing. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place your tongue just behind your upper front teeth and relax your jaw/mouth. Leave it there for the whole exercise.
  2. Exhale any air in your lungs through your mouth.
  3. Now, take an inhale through your nose counting to 4.
  4. Hold your breath for the count of 7.
  5. Slowly exhale through the mouth making a whooshing sound for the count of 8. 
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for an additional 4 breaths.

When and why should you do this type of breathing?

4-7-8 breathing has been shown to be helpful to reduce anxiety, to help with falling asleep, to control/reduce cravings and to reduce anger responses. 

Deep breathing appears to deactivate pathways in the brain that trigger anxiety.

You may also find it helpful to use when you are meditating and find your mind wandering off frequently. Introducing this breathing exercise helps focus your attention back on the breath in the present moment. 

If you like this exercise, you may also find this post on diaphragmatic breathing to be helpful.

As always, I hope to hear from you below with your thoughts on this exercise!