4-7-8 breathing is a stress-relieving, relaxation-inducing breathing technique. It is helpful to tune into when feelings of stress, anxiety or tension arise – or even when you’re having trouble getting to sleep. This technique relies on the ratio of breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds, holding that breath for 7 seconds, and then exhaling for 8 seconds. This ratio helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which puts your body into a state of rest. 

The good news is that you can practice the 4-7-8 technique anywhere anytime, because all you need is yourself! Here is a quick rundown: 

  1. Sit down in a comfortable upright position. 
  2. Completely let go of whatever breath you’re holding, exhale.
  3. With your lips closed, inhale through your nose for four counts. 
  4. Then hold your breath for seven counts. 
  5. Next, exhale slowly for eight counts. 

Feel free to repeat this four times, and then work your way up to eight cycles. 

This is a simple and powerful technique to add into your stress relief toolbox that can help prevent the detrimental effects of stress on the body and mind. 

10 Daily Habits to Live to 100

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