The 4-7-8 trick works like a sleep bomb.
This super-easy physiologically sound relaxation technique focuses on slowing your breathing rate to force the body and mind to slow down. It's perfect to use in stressful situations when you feel you are about to lose your cool as well as when you just can't quite fall asleep.
There are only 4 steps which you repeat to make a calming cycle.
1. Find a comfortable position - We suggest sitting on a chair with your feet flat on the floor (if its during the day) or lying in bed flat on your back with arms out next to you (if it's during the night).
2. Inhale deeply for 4 seconds. Try to breathe in causing a slow stream of air.
3. Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
4. Exhale slowly for eight seconds. Try to hold breath back so that you take the full 8 seconds to empty every bit of your lungs.
You will feel yourself get lost in the breathing and counting... this is good as it can take your mind off distracting thoughts and worries which may be preventing you from getting to what you want to do... like finishing an email or getting to sleep.
If you feel light-headed or panicky, you can shorten the intervals. This is common in those with reduced lung capacity from respiratory conditions like asthma.