4-7-8 X 7 breathing exercise
If you’re feeling anxious and want to relax right away, this is one of the best breathing exercises to try. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four, hold your breath and count to seven, and then exhale through your mouth while counting to eight. Repeat this pattern seven times. As a bonus, chiropractor Jason Piken, a certified nutrition specialist and health coach, says to keep your tongue pressed against the back of your front teeth. This way, when you exhale through your mouth, you’ll make a slight hissing sound.
Lie on your back for this breathing exercise with one hand on your upper chest and the other right below your rib cage. Breathe slowly through your nose, feeling only your belly moving. Laura Sage, an expert in meditation, says that this exercise helps to calm the nervous system, strengthen the diaphragm, increase relaxation, and increase oxygen levels in the bloodstream.
“This breath is very useful if you want to achieve a sense of withdrawal and concentration, which are both elements needed to achieve a deeper meditation,” says trained yogi and therapist Shara Tiffani. “Use this breath if you need assistance in remaining calm under stress.” To start, place one hand on your stomach and relax your abdominal muscles. Slowly inhale through your nose, bringing the air into the bottom of your lungs, and continue to inhale as your lungs expand and your collarbones begin to rise. At the peak of your inhalation, pause and then exhale from the top of your lungs to the bottom.