Try the 4-8 Breath to decrease Anxiety
Here’s a short video about using your breath to decrease Anxiety. If you would prefer to just read the transcript, it’s below the video.
Transcript of “Try the 4-8 Breath to decrease Anxiety”
Hi, I’m Dr. Elizabeth Bonet with floridapsychotherapy.com. My practice is in Hollywood, Florida if you’re local. Today, I’m going to talk a little about the 4-8 breath. In general, when you have anxiety, when you’re coming in for anxiety, one of the first things you learn is how to breathe. You can use your breath in different ways. People will say, “Oh my God, breathing, yoga, yeah, I’m supposed to breath, I can’t breathe.” They get really confused about how really simply it is and also how informative.
The first thing to do is to start to notice how you are breathing, because our breath is a clue for us. It is a clue into . . . Are you in pain? Your breath will be shorter, coming faster, someone trying to catch their breath.
- Is it anxiety?
- Is it actual physical pain?
- Is it depression or sadness?
Sometimes sadness will come up. You’ll find yourself sighing a lot. That’s often a sign of sadness. Tiredness obviously will come up if you’re yawning a lot.
We use our breath all through the day. Everybody does, we just don’t really realize how much information is in our breath. One thing to do is to tune into that information, and say, “Okay, how am I using my breath? What’s going on? I’ve been sighing a lot today. What’s going on?” That’s one thing.
The next thing is to do a conscious breath. Once you’ve realized, “Oh my gosh, I’m sighing a lot today. I’m really sad. Do I need to do a conscious breath? Do I need to do something about that to help soothe myself, to help calm myself down during anxiety. Then you can move into that.
The Conscious Breath
The conscious breath is very easy. You can inhale to 4, pause, then exhale to 8.
Now, I had a client who came in for anxiety treatment in Broward County once who said, “I can’t do it. I can’t do the 4-8 because in session, when you practice, inhale, 2, 3, 4, and exhale 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and it turns out when she got home, she thought she was supposed to do that pace.
And she felt like she was suffocating. I said to her, “Well, that’s impossible that you can’t do the 4-8 breath.” She said, “No, I really can’t. Like, watch.” I was like, “Okay, let’s try it again. Ready? Inhale 2, 3, 4. Exhale 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.”
You can go at your own pace for breathing to reduce anxiety.
Pretty much, you can go at your own pace. I talk about this in another video that you can do the 4-8 breath as fast as you need to, and then begin to slow it down some at your own pace, so that it becomes a calming breath. You don’t want it to be super fast in terms of making you more anxious, like, “Oh my God, I’m doing all this counting and breathing and this doesn’t feel good.”
You want to try to slow it down, so that it becomes a paced, even count breath. So that it becomes calming and soothing for your body. Once you have that, you can us
e that in pretty much any situation. That’s one of the breaths that I teach in my practice. There’s a couple different ones that I’ll review in videos. But that’s a very easy one for people to get, and it’s a very easy one to use in all kinds of situations.
Go practice your breathing, inhale to 4, pause, exhale to 8, and have a great day.
I specialize in hypnosis, anxiety and helping adult children of toxic parents feel more stable. To see if we’re a good fit to work together and you live in Broward County and the Fort Lauderdale / South Florida area, schedule your free consultation at 954-309-9071.
Yours in health,