The 4-7-8-Breath: How I Stopped Anxiety in It’s Tracks

According to Dr. Weil, the 4-7-8- breathing technique is the single best anti-anxiety method he has ever tried.

This technique helps to stop inner turbulence in its tracks and creates inner peace almost immediately and soothes the body’s inflammatory reaction to stress hormones.

With these modern lifestyles, our body is in a fight-or-flight state. This also leads to increased blood pressure, shallow breathing, increased stress hormones, and panic and anxiety attacks.

This popular technique was developed by India’s yogis. This helps in relaxing the mind and treats all these symptoms.

The way to perform it:

  • Sit in a comfortable position, straight up, and place the tip of the tongue on the ridge of the gums, just under the front teeth
  • Expand the diaphragm and slowly inhale through the nose for a count of 4
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7
  • Slightly open your mouth and exhale for 8 counts, drawing the diaphragm in
  • Repeat the cycle four times
  • And then, you might feel a bit light-headed, but it will pass soon.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, this method provides instant effects. But if you want to get its real power, you need to do it regularly, daily use, at least twice daily, for 8 weeks. You will breathe more deeply without giving it any extra thought, and you will have a lot of positive affects after some time.

This technique can be also compared to the following practices too:

  • Mindfulness meditation – it stimulates focused breathing while guiding the attention to the present moment.
  • Visualization – it focuses the mind on the path and pattern of natural breathing
  • Guided imagery – this helps you to focus on a happy memory or a past story as it wants to forget your worries as you breathe
  • Alternate nostril breathing – it includes breathing in and out of one nostril at a time while the other nostril is held closed.
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