Anxiety. It’s the worst right? It keeps us up at night, prohibits us from enjoying the things we love most, from being present in the here and now, and it takes away our ability to enjoy being around the people we love. I know anxiety and worrying manifests itself differently among everyone, but I think everyone can agree it’s one of the most frustrating and uncontrollable feelings to experience.
So how can work to controlling our anxiety?
Conscious breathing is an effective mindful technique that could help diminish those awful anxious feelings in the present moment and put you in a relaxed state and it often comes in many forms. One exercise that is simple and that can be done anywhere at any time with no equipment or preparation necessary is the 4-7-8 Breathing technique.
Breathing is the most powerful and important natural function that our bodies perform. So how do we do the 4-7-8 Relaxing Breath exercise? It’s easy. All it takes is four easy steps that are not difficult to recall:
- First, close your eyes and take a quiet and deep inhale for 4 slow seconds through your nose.
- Hold that breath you just took for 7 slow comfortable seconds.
- Exhale all the air that has been built up for a controlled 8 slow seconds and make a whooshing sound (like a long verbal sigh).
- Inhale again and complete the cycle again four times through.
Sounds self-explanatory right? With practice, the 4-7-8 Relaxing Breath can begin to feel more natural and helpful in controlling those worry and anxious provoking thoughts as you practice it consistently anytime, anywhere.
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Written by Refuge Center Master’s Level Counseling Intern Skye Clark