Growth Strategy #65: 7-11 Breathing

Growth Strategy #65: 7-11 Breathing

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to become overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. Whether it's work, family, or other life challenges, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to relax and unwind.

Good For: Managing stress and anxiety
Best used by: You

7-11 breathing is a breathing exercise that involves taking a deep breath in for a count of seven and then exhaling slowly for a count of eleven. This technique can be done anywhere, at any time, and is a great tool for managing stress and anxiety in your daily life.

How to do 7-11 breathing:

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your body.
  3. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of seven.
  4. Hold your breath for a moment.
  5. Exhale slowly and completely through your mouth for a count of eleven.
  6. Repeat the cycle for a few minutes or until you feel more relaxed.

The benefits of 7-11 breathing:

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety: helps to slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and calm your mind, which can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  2. Improves focus: When you're feeling stressed or anxious, it can be difficult to concentrate on tasks. It can help improve your focus and concentration, allowing you to be more productive.
  3. Increases energy: By reducing stress and anxiety, it can help to increase your energy levels, making you feel more alert and focused.
  4. Improves overall well-being: Regular practice can improve your overall well-being, helping you to feel more relaxed, calm, and balanced.


  1. Easy to learn and do: A simple technique that anyone can learn and do, anytime and anywhere.
  2. Improves focus and concentration: By reducing stress and anxiety allowing you to be more productive.
  3. No equipment needed: You don't need any equipment or special tools.  All you need is a few minutes of uninterrupted time.


  1. May not work for everyone: Some people may find it difficult to focus on their breathing or to stay relaxed.
  2. Not a substitute for medical treatment: Or medication for conditions like anxiety or depression. If you're struggling with a mental health condition, it's important to seek professional help.
  3. Can be uncomfortable: Some people may find it uncomfortable to hold their breath for a moment or to breathe deeply.
  4. May not be suitable for certain health conditions: If you have certain health conditions like asthma it may not be suitable for you.

How does it impact the brain

7-11 breathing can have a significant impact on the brain, particularly on the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which regulates many of the body's involuntary functions, including breathing, heart rate, and digestion.

When we breathe deeply and slowly, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is responsible for rest, relaxation, and digestion. This, in turn, helps to reduce the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which is responsible for the "fight or flight" response.

Studies have shown that practicing 7-11 breathing can lead to changes in brain activity, including:

  1. Increased activity in the prefrontal cortex: The prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive functions such as decision-making, problem-solving, and self-regulation. Increased activity in this area has been associated with better emotional regulation and cognitive performance.
  2. Increased activity in the amygdala: The amygdala is responsible for processing emotional information, including fear and anxiety. Increased activity in this area has been associated with reduced anxiety and improved emotional regulation.
  3. Increased gray matter density: Gray matter is the part of the brain that contains the cell bodies of neurons. Studies have shown that practicing 7-11 breathing can lead to increased gray matter density in areas of the brain that are involved in regulating emotion and attention.

Overall, the practice can have a positive impact, is easy to learn, doesn't cost anything and promotes overall well-being.

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