This must be my absolutely favourite anxiety therapy technique!
The 4-7-8 breathing technique
Are you experiencing anxiety… stress… ? Whatever the reason, whether you experience stress, worrying thoughts or anxiety – in your work situation, before you attempt a flight – even when holidaying(!), an interview – whether it is for a job application OR accolade of work achievement…. ? The list can go on and on. Everybody sometimes feel anxiety. Some more than others.
Not every technique will work for everyone and for various scenarios. Thus, it’s best to try a few (and don’t just try them once!) and find the technique that best works for yóú in that specific moment in time.
My ultimate favourite strategy for instantly calming your mind, worries and anxieties is the 4-7-8 breathing technique..
1. You breathe in for the mental count of 4.
2. Hold your breath for the mental count of 7.
3. Breathe out audibly through your mouth for the mental count of 8.
4. Repeat 4 or 5 times.
Note, I say mental count… not seconds. Some people get panicky if they can’t hold their breath long enough, so you count as fast or as slow as you want to.
You also breathe out audibly through your mouth: When you breathe out, you put your tongue behind your front teeth, round your lips, and breathe out loud and hard enough for you to hear your breath.
So this is what it does:
When you are feeling stressed and your mind is racing away with you, STOP! and focus on your breathing.
Firstly, you need to think and remember 4…7…8. Then you need to count, and hold your breath, and remember where or how to put your tongue, and listen to your out-breath.
In the process of doing all of that you are engaging your mind, your focus, your hearing, and feeling. So guess what!? It gets you OUT OF YOUR RACING MIND!
Your breath will always calm you and anchor you so you would be in a much better, calmer space at the end of your 5 rounds. Plus, once you get the hang of it – 5 rounds will only take 1 minute!!
This technique was initially designed for those who struggle to fall asleep, but they soon realised it is a fantastic tool for stress, anxiety, and anger too!
Go on… give it a try!
It might take a round or two to get used to but once you know how, you can easily do it anywhere, anytime, any place.