4-7-8 Breathing & How It Helps Reduce Stress & Anxiety

The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also know as “relaxing breath,” involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding that breath for 7 seconds and then exhaling for 8 seconds.

Breathing in this pattern helps to reduce anxiety and helps people get to sleep easier and faster.

What is 4-7-8 breathing?

4-7-8 is a breathing technique that requires an individual to focus on their breath, taking long, deep breaths in and out. Rhythmic breathing is a core part of many meditation and yoga practices as it promotes relaxation.

Many believe that the 4-7-8 breathing technique can help with the following:

  • Reducing anxiety
  • Helping a person get to sleep
  • Managing cravings
  • Controlling or reducing anger responses

How to properly practice the 4-7-8 breath.

First thing you want to do is adopt a comfortable sitting position and place the tip of your tongue on the tissue right behind your top-front teeth.

Secondly you are going to focus on the following breathing pattern:

  1. Empty the lungs of air
  2. Breathe in quietly through your nose for 4 seconds
  3. Hold this breath for a count of 7 seconds
  4. Exhale this same breathe forcefully through your mouth, pushing your lips out and making an audible “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds
  5. Repeat this cycle of breath for up to 4 times

It is alright to feel slightly lightheaded after doing this technique for the first time, or even the first few times. This is why it is advised that you try this technique while sitting down in a comfortable position or lying down to prevent dizziness or falls.

The total number of seconds the cycle lasts is less important than keeping the ratio of breath.