Wellness

oi-Amritha K

Practising breathing exercises has immense health benefits. They are beneficial for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. They decrease stress and allow us to relax. In addition, breathing exercises improve the efficiency of our lungs [1].

There is a 4-7-8 breathing technique that involves breathing in for four seconds, holding the breath for seven seconds, and exhaling for eight seconds. It may assist in managing anxiety. Read more about what is the 4-7-8 breathing technique? can it help with anxiety? here.

What Is the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique?

Developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, the 4-7-8 breathing technique is a breathing pattern based on pranayama, an ancient yoga technique that helps practitioners develop control over their breathing.

The 4-7-8 technique helps you to relax your mind and body by focusing on regulating your breath while you sleep at the end of a long, tiring day [2].

What Are The Benefits Of The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique?

Decreased depression and anxiety: One study found that participants with COPD who practices controlled breathing techniques had a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms.

Enhanced quality of sleep: Researchers found that people with insomnia experienced improved sleep quality after practising slow, paced breathing exercises for 20 minutes before going to bed [3].

Reduced levels of stress: Studies have shown that slow abdominal breathing can reduce stress levels by reducing heart rate and blood pressure, as well as relaxing tense muscles and increasing oxygen intake [4].

Enhanced motor memory: Further, a study of 16 participants showed improved motor memory after they performed a 30-minute session of deep breathing [5].

Increased ability to process pain: Furthermore, there is evidence that slow breathing may influence both autonomic function and pain perception/processing [6].

How To Do The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique?

Step 1. Take a seat in a place where you will be able to sit quietly without being disturbed.

Step 2. Place your tongue gently against your top teeth so that it presses against the back of them.

Step 3. Using your open mouth, exhale all the air surrounding your tongue.

Step 4. Inhale through your nose for a count of four while closing your mouth.

Step 5. Hold your breath while counting to seven.

Step 6. Finally, exhale through your mouth for the count of eight. Exhaling fully should feel like all of the air has been exhaled.

Step 7. Repeat the previous steps four times.

Can The 4-7-8 Breathing Help With Anxiety?

Studies have demonstrated that practising pranayama reduces test anxiety in students. Another study showed decreased anxiety among senior citizens following two months of deep breathing exercises [7][8].

Are There Any Negative Effects Of 4-7-8 Breathing?

It has been reported that the only side effect of the 4-7-8 breathing technique is light-headedness. In this case, the user should either discontinue using the technique or reduce the length of their breaths.

On A Final Note...

There may be a number of potential health benefits to the 4-7-8 breathing pattern, including reducing anxiety and assisting in a faster fall asleep. The use of this breathing technique should not be regarded as a substitute for professional assistance.

Story first published: Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 22:20 [IST]



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