Hey readers! I haven’t posted any sort of “There’s a real person in here!” content in a really long time, so here’s a quick clip of me walking you through an even quicker breathing exercise. Click below for the transcript and let me know what you think!
(Side note: I love transcribing stuff because it makes me uncomfortably aware of my verbal tics. Sorry ’bout that.)
Hello, readers! I just realized that I haven’t done, like, a voice, or a video, or anything involving, like, actual human “Hey, there’s a person behind the blog!” thing in a while, so I thought I would do a quick voice recording and throw it up on the blog because I’ve been fantastically uninspired lately.
Just seasonal depression stuff, situational things, courseload is getting really intense as I gear up for my practicum in a couple months here. You know, my usual excuses. But I thought I’d try something a little bit different today, and what I want to do is walk you through a quick breathing exercise called 4-7-8.
You’ve probably heard about it; it got really, really trendy with, like, pop psych magazines, health websites, you know, all that stuff. So you’ve probably seen this around the internet and I’m a little bit late to the game on it, but it’s a really good tool that I’ve had in my arsenal for a long time and just got to use it in person for the first time.
I’ve done this on Crisis Text Line a whole bunch, but I had a cognitive behavioral therapy lab on Sunday, so I got to use it on an actual human being for the first time, and it went really, really well.
Basically, it became, like, a “Hail Mary” pass because I got to a point in the role playing scenario where I was like, “Oh my god, I have no idea what to do–my hypothetical client is, like–there are so many things going on, I don’t know what to tackle.” And, you know, my classmate that I was role playing with was really selling me this story, and there was a professor in the room watching so I was extra nervous.
So, I whipped this one out. It worked really well–it ended up going really, really well, so I was pleased about that. So, without further ado, we’re gonna take a quick walk through the 4-7-8 exercise.
So first, get comfy, whatever that means for you. A lot of counselors or, you know, people who run this will tell you, “Put your feet flat on the floor” and all this. I don’t really care. If you are lounging somewhere, that’s cool. If you are laying upside-down off the edge of your bed, that’s fine, too. I mean, whatever works.
Typically, I would tell the person to close their eyes while they’re doing this, but again, it’s all about your comfort level. If you want to keep them open, that’s cool. So yeah, just follow along with the breathing, with the sound of my voice, and I’m gonna do the counts for you.
So once you’re ready, let’s inhale for a count of one, two, three, four. And now you’re going to hold that breath while I count–one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
You’re doing awesome–you probably have better breath control than I do at this point, if you’ve made it this far.
And then we’ll exhale for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one.
And if you are still conscious, then you’ve made it through the exercise! Congratulations.
I love using this with texters–I recommend it all the time. Because it sounds really silly…until you actually do it, and you can feel your heart rate slow on the exhale–all the tension just comes out of your body. And I’m a super–I’m a basket case. I’ll just say that. I’m like a walking ball of neuroses usually. [Laughs.]
So whenever I find something that can get my whole body to relax and get me to chill out, I know it’s gold. So that’s a really good one to use–really good for panic attacks, anxiety, just tension. Like, any time you feel yourself getting stressed, take a second, do the breaths; [it] doesn’t take that much time.
I’ve got a couple more tricks up my sleeve, and if this format appeals to you guys, like walking you verbally through exercises, let me know in the comments, on Facebook, um…I check the email…not as often as I should, but I do get in there. Yeah, let me know if this works and we can keep on doing this.
But until next time, thank you for listening, and I’ll catch you guys later!