Box breathing, which some also refer to as square breathing, is a technique that uses slow deep breathing in addition to holding your breath between breaths. Why do people like this technique so much? The easy answer is it’s a quick and powerful stress reliever.
This technique is beneficial to anyone, especially those who want to meditate or reduce stress. In fact it’s in use by many, from athletes to Navy SEALs, police officers, and nurses. I think it’s safe to assume that if people working in this high stress positions find it effective, so will you.
It’s also known as sama vritti pranayama, born of the yogic practice of pranayama, or focusing on the breath.
Its common name, “box breathing,” refers to the four sides of a box, while you slowly count to four for a total of four times. This involves four counts of breathing in, four counts of holding your breath, four counts of exhaling and four more counts of holding after your exhale.
This technique goes by other names, too:
- 4×4 breathing.
- 4-4-4-4 breathing.
- Equal breathing.
- Four-square breathing.
- Square breathing.
So, let’s get started with the actual techniques for box breathing to relieve stress and anger quickly.
Getting started with 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 in 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. Sitting up helps you to take deep breaths so that’s a good recommendation. However, if you need box breathing, do it no matter what your posture currently is. I don’t imagine Navy Seals worry to much about their posture when they find themselves in a highly stressing situation. Right?
However, you must first get in the habit of box breathing so that you can pull it out of your tool box at a moments notice, do sit in a comfortable, quiet area for you. Do this because it makes it easier for you to adapt to a new routine. Then, in a tense situation, you can easily start in with your box breathing when you most need it after having practiced it regularly.Box Breathing to Relieve Stress and Anger Quickly Click To Tweet
6 easy steps to effective box breathing.
First, give yourself time to learn this technique by taking it easy during your learning process.
“You don’t want to go too slowly or too quickly,” Dr. Young says. “Stay at your comfort level, making sure you’re breathing very gently and not straining.”Health.ClevelandClinic.org
1. Breathe out slowly, releasing all the air from your lungs.
2. Breathe in through your nose as you slowly count to four in your head. Be conscious of how the air fills your lungs and stomach.
3. Hold your breath for a count of four.
4. Exhale for another count of four.
5. Hold your breath again for a count of four.
6. Repeat for three to four rounds.
It’s just that easy! In fact, the ease of box breathing is what makes it so accessible — and a powerful tool in your tool box.
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