The 4-7-8 technique: a natural remedy for stress and anxiety

Woman practicing the 4-7-8 technique by a sunny window

Did you know that according to the Labour Force Survey, there were an estimated 828 000 workers affected by work related stress, depression or anxiety. That's 828 000 too many and that is something that can't be taken lightly.

Let's take a closer look at what happens to our bodies during periods of stress and anxiety. Our brains flood our nervous systems with hormones and chemicals that are designed to help us respond to a threat. These hormones include adrenalin and cortisol and they also increase our pulse and breathing rate, so our brains get more oxygen. While they are helpful for the odd stressful event, long term exposure to stress hormones can be more harmful to our physical health in the long run.

So what can we do to alleviate this? The simple yet effective act of breathing. Not only is it incredibly accessible but it can even be done at your desks when things get overwhelming. One breathing exercise that is not only effective but easy to implement is the 4-7-8 method.

Step 1: Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.

Step 2: take a deep, slow breath from your belly and silently count to 4 as you breathe in.

Step 3: hold your breath and silently count from 1-7.

Step 4: breathe put completely as you silently count from 1-8. Try to get all the air out of your lungs by the time you count to 8.

Step 5: repeat 3-7 times until you feel calm.

So let's say goodbye to these absurd stress levels and start welcoming some good mood into our lives!


Written by Harin Vinumon