4 Deep Breaths Can Change YOUR Life

Profile of Face with Swirls

So how can 4 deep breaths change your life? It can give you the time to calm your brain and react in the way you most want or desire. We hear a lot today about meditation and breath work and the wonderful benefits of being able to lessen our anxiety and really clear the chatter and chaos from our brain. In this application, I am talking about doing something that we all can do with minimal effort. This is not an hour meditation, not to say that this would not be incredibly helpful for us. This is simply using what we have accessible in our everyday life to calm our mind and body – OUR BREATH. It is a way to allow us to be more in charge of creating the life we want.

I might add if you can combine this with a question of what do I need or want OR a positive “self talk” statement this will further aid you in creating the life and relationships you so desire.  This is a powerful combination for sure. I hope you will try it for yourself.

There are different strategies that can be used when doing breath work. From very simple to more complex. Here are some beginning possibilities to consider.

  1. To begin breath work you may want to just do a simple slow deep breath in and a slow deep breath out. 4 cycles of breath is a good goal. But it does not have to be exact.
  2. The next may be a  simple slow 4 count of breath coming in and a slow 4 count of breath coming out. Again 4 cycles being the approximate goal to calm yourself.
  3. In some yoga circles, the 4 square breath is used  This is a 4 count breath in, a holding of breath for 4 counts, 4 count breath out and then a holding of the breath for 4 counts. And then a continuation up to 4 breath cycles.
  4. Dr. Andrew Weil has a 4-7-8 breath exercise that can be used with some practice. You can check out the video below if you want to see his demonstration of this method that he teaches all of his patients. First blow out all of your air through your mouth. Then breath in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for a count of 7 and then breath out of your mouth to a count of eight. Do for 4 cycles, but no more.

Please Note: For some situations the most simple can be the most fitting. This is for you to decide what best fits for you and the situation in front of you Perfectionism is not the goal but learning something simple you can access easily where your breath becomes slower, deeper and quieter. I might also note this can also be used with children as well, especially  the simpler versions.

I am listing some examples of how this might be used in everyday life below for your consideration. You will find this can be applied to most any situation in which you are having upset or confused feelings about or having feelings of wanting something that is not healthy for you.

  • Situation: You are arguing with your spouse and you find it escalating and not nice things are being said to one another.
  • You Take 4 Deep Breaths: Your mind and body calms.
  • You Ask Yourself: “How can I say what I want to say respectfully?” OR “How do I say this without hurting _______?” OR “What can I do to lower this escalation?”
  • You Tell Your Self: “I am calming down, I can think more clearly.” OR “We can work this out.” OR “We need to take a break and come back.”

woman and man with wall between but holding hands and heads against wall

  • Situation: You are trying to lose weight. You are hungry and want something to eat and it is mid afternoon. You REALLY need something to eat.
  • You Take 4 Deep Breaths: Your mind and body calms.
  • You Ask Yourself:  “What does my body need right now?”
  • You Tell Your Self: “I am calm and can choose what is best for me.” OR “It feels good to choose what my body really needs.”

 woman with apple on her bicep arm

  • Situation: You are feeling anxious. You are in a job interview and feeling nervous.
  • You Take 4 Deep Breaths: “Your mind and body calms.”
  • You Ask Yourself:  “What can I say that is most helpful for me?”
  • You Tell Your Self: “I am calm. I can think clearly and show my best self.”

 woman interview with calm face at at table


So when you feel upset, mad, anxious or feel yourself getting ready to do something not good for you, TAKE 4 DEEP BREATHS. It is worth your time to calm yourself and do what you really desire to do.  Your body is a beautiful creation designed to help you. So use your breath, it could just possibly change your life!