4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

4-7-8 Breathing (Great for Anxiety & Falling Asleep) 

When you’re stressed, your breathing can become very shallow which is breeding grounds for an excess of carbon dioxide in your tissues, which can ultimately lead to disease. 

Breathing in for 4 allows you to consciously take in more oxygen. Holding for 7 allows that oxygen to saturate into your bloodstream, which begins to cleanse and energize your cells, tissues, and organs. Exhaling for 8 allows you to release as much carbon dioxide from your lungs as possible. 

For this exercise, you always inhale quietly & exhale audibly through the mouth. Be sure that your exhales are twice as long as your inhales.  The time spent is not important, but the ratio is. If you are having trouble holding your breath this long, that’s okay! Just keep the ratio of 4:7:8 for the duration of your practice.


1. Sitting upright, relax the shoulders, bring the eyes to a close or low gaze & exhale completely through your mouth.

2. Close the mouth as you inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of 4.

3. Hold your breath for a count of 7.

4. Exhale completely through your mouth for a count of 8.

5. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of 4 rounds.

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Feeling stressed out & psychologically unsafe at work?

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The Mako Method™ Resource Guide for Stress Management

Download our resource guide and learn over 50 ways you can use quick breathing exercises, affirmations, gratitude, journaling, and perspectives practices throughout the day to manage your stress and create psychological safety at work.


The Mako Method™ for Psychological Safety – The Ultimate Checklist

Download our free checklist to learn our framework of best practices for creating and experiencing more Psychological Safety at Work. 

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