It helps to keep this rhythm for about 2 min. The visual aid is very helpful.
The breath is such a powerful tool and has a deep effect on the nervous system. There are quite a few breathing techniques out there suggested for insomnia and anxiety. The well-known 4-7-8 breath is one of them.
If you are starting out with breath control, try 4-8 first and see how it feels to inhale 4 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. You can deepen the breath and slow it down to 6-12. If it is feeling comfortable to keep that rhythm for a couple minutes, you can proceed to 4-4-8, holding the breath for 4 seconds before exhaling for 8 seconds. Eventually, progress to the well-known 4-7-8 breath.
You can use these techniques in bed when trying to fall asleep or anytime when you feel the anxiety creeping in.
Please know that holding the breath can cause strain to the nervous system rather than soothe it. Take it easy and don’t rush. It might take a couple weeks to get there.
Swami Sivananda recommended silently repeating OM while holding the breath. The vibration of the mantra OM creates a protective shield. I use this technique occasionally since I don’t always have the choice of environment or company. Elevating the personal vibration feels so good.
om om om