Try ‘Box Breathing’ to Reduce Stress
Written by Tricia Moore
We are now playing on the outer edge of our comfort zone, just like in training. So how can we tap into that training and utilize what we’ve learned in our daily lives? With a mindful focus on using something we have to do anyway to our advantage. Breathing!
There are as many breathing techniques out there that can be used for a variety of purposes in your mindfulness practice. A great one for both mental and physical stress reduction is called Box Breathing.
What is the Box Breathing Technique?
Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is a technique used by taking slow and controlled, deep breaths. It can heighten performance and concentration while also being a powerful stress reliever. Box Breathing is a simple breathing technique you can do whenever you feel stressed. It’s guaranteed to calm you down.
How to Perform Box Breathing
- Inhale through your nose for a count of 5 seconds
- Hold in your breath for 5 seconds
- Exhale through your mouth for 5 seconds
- Then hold your exhale for 5 seconds
- Do that four times
Why does Box Breathing Work?
Slowing your breath rate calms nerves and relieves stress by helping to regulate the autonomic nervous system, basically telling your brain, “you must not be panicked. I’ll calm you down”. It calms the mind, and tells your brain to do nothing. Which is absolutely the best choice is a stressful time.
How to Incorporate Box Breathing into Your Mindfulness Practice
Optimal health is holistic in nature and requires a balance of movement, mindfulness, nutrition, and sleep. A regular mindfulness practice of 5-10 min per day can do wonders for your health.
Whenever you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or stressed, stop what you are doing and do a set of Box Breathing. After you’ve calmed down, identify what was causing the stress or discomfort.
Another way to incorporate Box Breathing into your practice is to utilize it as a stress prevention tool. Set a time each day to do a few sets of Box Breathing whether it be first thing in the morning, before a big conference call, or before the start of your essential shift, or any other event you know will be stressful that you need to remain calm and focused for.
Other Breathing Methods to Consider
Invictus has asked you to Rethink Your Breathing by focusing energy on educating our community on the importance of a proper breathing and how to incorporate breathing into your practice as well as including breathwork within each of our online programs.
What breathing techniques do you incorporate into your mindfulness practice? Share your experiences in the comments!