7-4-7-4 Mindful Breathing
Individual and Group
We recommend practicing this activity at least 5 times a week.
|Other helpful topics to use this activity for
Around 70% of your body’s toxins are released through our breath. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste product of your body’s metabolism. The benefits of breathing deeply help the systems in the body to process this more efficiently. Breathing exercises also release endorphins throughout the body. Endorphins interact with opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain. The upward and downward movement of the diaphragm helps remove toxins from organs, promoting improved blood flow. It increases the production of oxygen levels and in turn, rising levels of energy. Overall, breathing exercises reduce stress, blood pressure, anxiety. They promote focus, release toxins, and self-awareness. Breathing exercises also benefit you by helping you feel more confident and able to let go of old belief systems as well as negative thought patterns that no longer serve you. As discussed earlier, letting go of old stories previously held onto on a subconscious level gives you new emotional depth and positive perspective. And breathing exercises do this by clearing the mind, slowing down our thoughts, stabilizing the flow of oxygen in the brain, and stimulating the release of feel-good hormones.
When people are anxious, they tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest. This type of breathing is called thoracic or chest breathing. When you’re feeling anxious, you may not even be aware you’re breathing this way. Chest breathing causes an upset in the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body resulting in increased heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension, and other physical sensations. Your blood is not being properly oxygenated, and this may signal a stress response that contributes to anxiety and panic attacks.
We recommend that you do your exercises in the same place every day. Somewhere that’s peaceful and quiet. Don’t worry if you’re not doing it right or enough. Just bring your focus on the sounds and rhythm of your breathing or the environment around you.
Only do what you can, and with enough practice, it will become second nature to you.
Do breathing exercises at least once or twice daily. Try to do them at the same time each day to reinforce the habit. Or only do them as needed.
The following breathing exercises are for reducing stress, anxiety, panic attacks. They also help with feeling more joyful, peaceful, and calmer.
7-4-7-4 Mindful Breathing
Stress and anxiety release breathing exercise
(3minutes or 5 Cycles)
- You can perform this exercise as often as needed. It can be done standing up, sitting down, or lying down.
- If you find this exercise difficult or believe it’s making you anxious or panicky, stop for now. It’s normal for some individuals with chronic stress to feel this way in the beginning. Try it again another time with less time (at least 1minute or 1 cycle less).
- Be seated comfortably, no need to sit in a meditative position or anything. Legs and arms uncrossed.
- Also, you can keep your eyes open or closed.
- Gently place and keep your tongue onto the roof of your mouth, the gum line until you have completed.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose over 7 seconds. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your abdomen should expand, and your chest should rise very little.
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
- And, exhale slowly through your mouth over 7 seconds. As you blow air out, purse your lips slightly, but keep your jaw relaxed. You may hear a soft “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
- Hold for 4 seconds and breath. Start back up again with 7 inhale…etc.
- Repeat this breathing exercise for 3 minutes or for 5 cycles of 7-4-7-4.