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Published on August 26, 2019

4-7-8 Breathing Technique

4-7-8 Breathing Technique

What is it? The 4-7-8 breathing technique can be used to relax when you're feeling stressed or anxious.

The exercise helps regulate the hormone cortisol, which controls your fight or flight response. This is important because too much cortisol being released in your body too often can have negative long-term health effects.

How do you practice 4-7-8?

  1. Find somewhere comfortable to sit. If you can, close your eyes.
  2. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four.
  3. Hold the breath to the count of seven.
  4. Exhale through your mouth to the count of eight.

What are the benefits?

Use the 4-7-8 breathing technique to decrease anxiety, sleep better, manage food cravings and control emotional responses like anger.

Meditation/mindful breathing fun fact

If you practice meditation for a certain purpose (like managing how you respond when you feel angry), mediate even when you feel like you don’t need to. Doing so will help you respond how you want to when it matters most.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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