-by Elaine Corcoran, Founder & Clinical Director at Brain Training Australia™
If you suffer from anxiety, you will know that you need a quick and easy to use strategy in your back pocket to help you in times of a spike in your anxiety.
Breathing Techniques such as the 4-7-8 is a useful and really simple technique:
- it works quickly and you can do it almost anywhere
- it commonly used when sitting or laying down but works just as well standing up
- many clients do this in the bathroom when they feel anxiety spike at work or at school
- helpful in the relief of the symptoms of insomnia, stress, worry and panic
How to do the 4-7-8 breathing technique for anxiety
Step One: Get into a comfortable position – this can be sitting, laying down or standing.
Step Two: Push your tongue into the roof of your mouth, right where your top row of teeth are – you should be able to feel where your teeth meet the roof of your mouth.
Step Three: Take a deep, 4 second long breath in through your nose.
Step Four: Hold this breath for 7 seconds.
Step Five: Breathe out, through pursed lips for 8 seconds. As you do this, keep your tongue pressed to the roof of your mouth where your top row of teeth can be felt. This creates a little bit of resistance to your exhale.
Step Six: Repeat 4-5 times.
The biology of 4-7-8 breathing and why it works.
Slowing the breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This naturally slows down the heart rate, as well as your mind, and allows the body to relax. By breathing in deeply and holding that breath, intra-abdominal pressure activates the vagus nerve, which is a key parasympathetic nerve, that in this situation, tells the brain to reduce the feelings of panic, fear, dread, also known as the fight or flight response.
Breathing exercises such as the above 4-7-8 is a good coping mechanism and a way to manage anxiety when it spikes. However this only temporarily alleviates or contains it.
On average, 1 in 4 people (1 in 3 women; and 1 in 5 men) – will experience anxiety, so know that you are NOT alone. If you, or someone you care about would like to overcome your anxiety, contact our team of Neurofeedback Practitioners for help today.
Brain training to overcome anxiety.
At Brain Training Australia™ we offer Neurofeedback Brain Training to support optimal brain function. It is a safe, natural, non-invasive and drug-free method supported by decades of research. Don’t experiment with your brain, choose evidence based methods supported by decades of research and delivered by Certified Professionals to overcome your psychological or emotional challenges.
Call us today. We can help.