Breathe your way into 2019 Say Farewell to Anxiety

4-4-6-2 is a bubble of breathing bliss – in less than five minutes let go of holiday stress and anxiety. 

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Make this your go to breath for 2019

I discovered this breath exercise from Drs. Brown and Gerbarg who wrote “The healing power of the breath.”  It is simple and effective.  I use it in all situations when I can feel my breathing getting constricted, that tightness in my chest and knot in my stomach when I am feeling terribly uncomfortable or anxious.

Breathing Cadence

4462 relates to the rate at which you breathe.  You inhale to the count of 4, hold the breath gently for the count of four, exhale for the count of 6 and hold the breath for the count of 2 and repeat four times.

It is like getting a shot of instant relaxation – a ball of breathing bliss.

Breathe through your nose.  Be gentle, go slowly, breathing from your belly allowing it to expand like a balloon on each inhale.

The breath is balanced, it is one of the best breathing exercises I have found that quickly calms the nervous system and significantly reduces anxiety.

I taught this to a lovely woman as we waited to ride in a tiny elevator in London.  I could see how nervous she was and asked her if it was ok to share this with her, she has never looked back.

You can use this exercise anywhere, walking the dog, going to see family, ahead of stressful meetings, when you need to ride in a tiny elevator, family vacations anywhere that you need it. 

Your brain can’t freak out and count! 

Let’s Breathe

I am going to assume you are sitting down but you can practice this anywhere.

Sit with you back straight, lengthen through your spine from tailbone to crown.

Allow your shoulder blades to glide down your back.

Close down the eyes if this is comfortable for you.

Breathing through your nose exhale all your breath out.

Inhale 1, 2, 3, 4

Hold 1, 2, 3, 4

Exhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Hold 1, 2

Repeat this 4 times, this should be enough to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, and reduce your anxiety allowing you to feel a greater sense of calm.

Use as many times through the day as you need it.

Benefits of 4-4-6-2 include:

  • Calms the nervous system
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces anger and impulsivity
  • Aids in quieting the mind
  • Helps to reduce negative thoughts
  • Increases parasympathetic nervous system activity
  • Lowers blood pressure

Let breathe low and slow be your mantra for 2019.

First published on Wild Orange

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


5 Breathing Exercises to Calm Anxiety

by Stephanie Dalfonzo

Your Questions Answered: What the Breath has to do with Mindfulness and Stress Management

by Sarah Vaynerman

4 breathing exercises that will help counteract your anxiety

by Mental Daily

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.