The Importance of 4-7-8 Breathing

Guest blog post from Marie Miguel.

When you want to reduce your stress, just breathe. Taking deep, meditative breaths has been a timeless way to fill your body with energy or help you unwind after an eventful day. However, there are so many breathing techniques that you find yourself a bit intimidated, and some of them are complex. Here is one that is simple, powerful, and perfect for unwinding after a long day. Meet the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

What is the 4-7-8 Technique?

This is a breathing technique, and the numbers in its title are the seconds needed to breathe It was first discovered by Dr. Andrew Weil and has been making a fuss lately. Especially for insomniacs. It’s been claimed that this breathing technique makes it easier to fall asleep. Some will say it can put you to sleep in less than a minute. Although, expecting it to be a magic cure for insomnia may end up backfiring on you, so come to it just as a nice way to relax.

While kids are great, sometimes you need a break, and while you do this, they can look here for some fun activities.

It is said to work by giving your body more time to give itself oxygen. Also, because you are spending time counting, it is a nice, distracting technique that gets rid of the thoughts that are polluting your head. Worries about your job, your kids, all of it goes to the back of your mind.

2. Doing it

Performing the technique is easy. You don’t need to be a meditation master to pull it off. However, it does require some practice to master and get its full effects. If you’re using it to sleep, lie down first before using it.

There are many steps that will differ depending on which version you decide to do, but this version is the most common.

  1. First, place your tongue where the roof of your mouth is. It should go behind the top row of your teeth. Make sure it stays there and doesn’t move. This is a bit of a challenge and why it may require some practice.

  2. Then, let out all your breath. Exhale with the mouth and make a whooshing noise as you do so.

  3. Then, close your mouth and breathe in through your nose for four seconds.

  4. Afterwards, hold your breath for seven seconds.

  5. Do step 2 again, where you are breathing out of your mouth. This time, breathe out for eight seconds.

  6. Rinse and repeat. Some people repeat until they fall asleep, or feel like they’re relaxed. The best beginner’s step is to do it for four times. You can build up as you learn how to master your breathing.

When you breathe, make sure you're doing it in a place where you can fall asleep or relax. Don’t do it on the job or while you're driving. It can relax you and reduce your chances of alertness. Some people consider this technique a powerful drug, and you should treat it as such.

3. Seek Help

While the 4-7-8 technique is helpful for many, it is not a magic bullet. Many people may still have sleep issues, and even if you’ve used all the sleep techniques in the book, there is still hope. Try therapy. A therapist can figure out why you're having such a hard time sleeping and look for ways that you can sleep better at night. If you're having a  hard time talking to a therapist in person, try online therapy. An online therapist can make it easier to talk to someone and get the help you need.

Everyone deserves a good night of rest. Talk to a therapist today and see what you can do.