This is a deep breath combination that not only calms the nervous system but also helps to naturally raise our body temperature and help to lift our body from pain and other feelings of stress and uneasiness. The magic of the 4-7-8 breath is that it can be done just by taking slow, deep breaths – and is a fundamental way that an eastern medicine practitioner recommends treating emotional pain, as well as physical.
The 4-7-8 Breath Method consists of four inhaling breaths, followed by seven exhalation breaths. As it’s designed to do, it raises the body temperature and can help to shift our mood from uncomfortable to more comfortable.
As the breathing cycle above is very different from our typical breathing pattern, you’ll want to pay careful attention to how you feel throughout this method. On your exhalation, you should see a rise in your breathing, as you are exhaling tension from your body and the worry of your day. On your inhales, you should feel a deep sense of relaxation and an uplifted feeling. Try keeping your eyes open and looking down as you do this, and imagine your body turning from an uncomfortable state to a more comfortable one.
When you exhale through your mouth, you should feel an immediate wave of warm air from your lips and throat. As your eyes begin to close, you can become more absorbed by the deep sense of relaxation that comes from breathing this way. Try breathing slowly and quietly into the belly. Repeat this breathing for two minutes.
Let the thoughts of your day go… don’t force them to disappear
The key to the 4-7-8 breath is mindfulness and softness in our focus on what’s happening around us. If we try to force our thoughts to be at the moment, we’ll quickly find ourselves preoccupied with our lives, and our emotional state, to the point where we forget to be present with those around us. Instead, try to empty our minds and enter a state of more complete awareness, even when we’re talking to people who we might usually find it difficult to engage with.