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4-7-8 Breathing technique, breathe

unable to sleep, cannot fall asleepNothing is more irritating than not being able to go to sleep. When this happens to me, my mind goes wild fretting about things like needing to get up in the morning, all the things that need to be done, and a variety of other thoughts that keep me awake. It was a relief to discover a much-mentioned method popular on the internet: the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

Also known as “relaxing breath,” this technique involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.

It’s easy to do.

  1. empty your lungs;
  2. gently breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds;
  3. hold it for 7 seconds;
  4. pursing the lips, force the air out for 8 seconds;
  5. repeat up to 4 times.

breathe, breathing technique, relaxing breathThe 4-7-8 breathing technique can also be useful if you’re feeling anxious for any reason, like before a test or during a disagreement with your partner.

The next time you’re struggling to sleep, give this a try. When you open your eyes, it might be morning.

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Author: Martha Childers

Martha Childers, EdS, LPC is a multicultural psychotherapist specializing in couples, grief and caregiver stress. Martha is a licensed professional counselor in Missouri and Kansas. She received her masters and education specialist degrees in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She practiced Zen through a variety of Japanese traditional arts for 3-1/2 years. Since that time, mindfulness has been an integral part of her life. Her interest in human nature, beliefs, and life styles led her to become a counselor.

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