4-7-8 Breathing Meditation

Brought to you by CHYP’s Parenting Blog

December 27th, 2021

By: Eileen Yager, MD

This breath practice is excellent for stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia. It takes just a few minutes and is safe, so it can be done by adults or children. As long as the count is steady for all parts, it doesn’t matter how fast you count. Should be a comfortable count, usually about one per second. The inhalation is through the nose for 4, then hold breath for 7, then exhale through pursed lips for 8. The pursed lips stabilize your airways, and the long exhalation stimulates the vagus nerve, the “rest and relax” part of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Follow along with Dr Yager in the video below!


​I am Dr. Eileen Yager, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. I run the Integrative Pain Management Clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado for kids mostly with chronic pain. In 1990 I was on the founding faculty of the UCLA Pediatric Pain Center, and Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer was my boss then!