From the moment anxiety pops up in our minds, our bodies often enter a “fight or flight” mode, getting ready to handle what feels like a threatening situation. Our breathing may become shorter, shallower, and faster, sometimes without us even noticing. When you’re feeling anxious, take a moment to check in on your breath and make an effort to slow and deepen your breathing. The 4-7-8 Breathing technique, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, is an excellent method to practice and use in moments of anxiety or tension.
- Put your tongue along the top of your mouth, against the back of your teeth.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, keeping your tongue in the same position. It should make a “woosh” sound as you exhale.
- Close your lips and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale again through your mouth, keeping your tongue in the same position, for 8 seconds (your breath should make the “woosh” sound again).
- Repeat this cycle three more times.