What is box breathing?
Box breathing is a technique used in taking slow, deep breaths. This can heighten performance and concentration while also being a powerful stress reliever.
Box breathing is a technique used to calm yourself down with a simple 4 second rotation of breathing in, holding your breath, breathing out, holding your breath, and repeating.
Also called four-square breathing, this technique can be beneficial to anyone, especially those who want to meditate or reduce stress. It’s used by everyone from athletes to police officers, nurses, and yoga practitioners.
Also know as Navy SEAL breathing technique, or tactical breathing, it’s a surprisingly simple and effective way to help regain calm and control of your thoughts when under stress.
A perfect visual meditation for when you can’t listen to audio, or just need a quick second to refocus.
Use this image to help you keep time!
The steps of box breathing
Before you get started, make sure that you’re seated upright in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor. Try to be an a stress-free, quiet environment where you can focus on your breathing. Keeping your hands relaxed in your lap with your palms facing up, focus on your posture. You should be sitting up straight. This will help you take deep breaths.
Here are the directions:
- Inhale for 4 seconds (as the circle expands)
- Hold your lungs full for 4 seconds (as the circle stays fully expanded)
- Exhale for 4 seconds (as the circle shrinks)
- Hold your lungs empty for 4 seconds (as the circle is contracted)
Repeat for as many times as you need to calm down.
Benefits of box breathing
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is sufficient evidence that intentional deep breathing can actually calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system. This system regulates involuntary body functions like temperature. It can lower blood pressure and provide an almost-immediate sense of calm.
Box breathing can reduce stress and improve your mood. That makes it an exceptional treatment for conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. It can also help treat insomnia by allowing you to calm your nervous system at night before bed. Box breathing can even be efficient at helping with pain management.