Anxiety hits us every now and then. It is a sign of having feelings and emotions but sometimes it gets over our normal routine and can upset us even more than we can expect. Along with medications and therapies, professionals suggest people with anxiety to meditate. Meditation, physical activities and breathing techniques can help us improve anxiety symptoms. Many people have found some specific breathing techniques helpful in relieving anxiety symptoms, the 4-7-8 breathing technique is one of them. The 4-7-8 breathing technique which is also called the “relaxing breath,” involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. Let’s get you through a little information about what it is and how it helps us to improve anxiety disorder.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is something that is our natural behaviour and response to stress. It is an apprehensive feeling and a fear of any upcoming event. Most people experience this while a new job interview, facing a huge crowd, giving a speech or addressing a large audience feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. The first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous.
But if your feelings of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder.
What Is 4-7-8 Breathing?
The 4-7-8 breathing technique requires a lot of attention and concentration to follow. A person should focus on taking long, deep breaths in and then out. Breathing in a certain manner and in rhythm is a vital part of any medication and also yoga as it enhances relaxation.
The following are the best uses of breathing techniques:
- It reduces anxiety
- This breathing technique helps a person to sleep
- Helps managing cravings
- Controlling or reducing anger responses
How To Do It
Before you start following this breathing pattern, sit in a comfortable position with the tip of your tongue placed behind the top of your front teeth.
Here’s how to start using this breathing technique:
- Exhale all the air out of your lungs.
- Gradually breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds
- Exhale forcefully through the mouth for 8 seconds
- Repeat this cycle for at least 4 times
Benefits Of 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Apart from the medical benefits, this breathing technique has a lot of positive effects on our mental health too. It has a deep impact on a person’s anxiety and stress levels. Following are the benefits it has on our mental health.
- Decreases fatigue
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce the symptoms of asthma in children and adolescents
- Helps us manage stress better
- Reduce hypertension
- Improves aggressive behaviour in adolescent males
- Improves migraine symptoms
This breathing technique and other breathing techniques do have many health benefits and is also very suitable for our mental health. Such as, it helps a person fall asleep faster and lowers their stress levels. The only possible side effect that is reported of this technique is lightheadedness. If a person is experiencing this, they should either stop doing it or change the time span of their breath intervals.
Whenever you feel like you are having a hard time sleeping or are unable to calm down, give the 4-7-8 breathing technique a try. With no serious effects, the 4-7-8 breathing technique will definitely free you from the burdens of stress.
Javeria Adil Chughtai
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