The Benefits of Box Breathing
Sometimes, it can feel like almost everything we do could potentially cause us stress and anxiety. Our fast-paced lives do not make things easier. From our jobs to our families to the collapsing economy, stress is all around us, and it can feel like you are just a step away from spiralling into it. The good news is that you can stop all those anxious thoughts in their track and combat stress through box breathing,
Box breathing is a breathing technique that is designed to help you calm down. It is an instant stress reliever in the short term and it also has many long-term benefits. Here is everything you need to know about box breathing.
What is box breathing?
Box breathing, which is also known as square or four-square breathing, is a breathing technique where you take slow, deep breaths in counts of four. Studies show that it can heighten concentration and performance, as well as being a great stress reliever.
Box breathing can be beneficial to anyone. It is widely used by athletes, police officers, nurses, and US Navy Seals. If you want to meditate or reduce stress, it’s worth giving box breathing a shot.
It is also a recommended technique for people suffering from certain types of lung diseases such as COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
How to get started with box breathing
If you want to try box breathing for the first time, here is what you need to do:
Sit upright in a comfortable chair with your feet firmly on the floor
Ensure that you are in a quiet, stress-free environment where you can focus on your breathing
Place your hands on your lap with your palms facing up
Ensure that you are sitting up straight so you can take long, deep breaths
Slowly exhale through your mouth, getting all the air out of your lungs. Try to be conscious of what you are doing as you are doing it.
Slowly inhale through your nose while counting to four slowly in your head. Feel the air fill your lungs until they are completely full and you can feel the air move into your abdomen
Hold your breath as you slowly count to four once more
Exhale once more, counting slowly to four in your head as you do. Expel the air from your lungs and abdomen completely and be conscious of the feeling of air leaving your lungs.
Repeat his process at least four times in one sitting
Important tips to keep in mind:
Box breathing is a skill that takes time to learn. It is normal to get dizzy the first few times you do it. Keep practicing and you will be able to do it for longer without feeling dizzy.
If you notice that box breathing is making you dizzy, remain sitting for a few minutes and resume your normal breathing.
Box breathing is best done in a quiet, dimly lit environment because such an environment can help you focus especially if you are new to it
Practice box breathing several times a day as needed to help you calm down or relieve stress.
What are the benefits of box breathing?
Intentional deep breathing has been shown to have a calming effect. Several studies also show that it can help in the regulation of the autonomic nervous system.
The ANS is the body’s system that is responsible for involuntary body functions such as body temperature and blood pressure. So how exactly does it work? Well, when you slowly hold your breath, carbon dioxide from the air builds up in your blood. This high CO2 content enhances your cardio-inhibitory response when you exhale, and it stimulates your parasympathetic system. This is what creates a calm and relaxed sensation in your body and mind.
Box breathing has also been shown to be beneficial in helping people deal with pain management.
Additionally, box breathing reduces your stress levels and improves your mood. This is why it is a highly recommended form of treatment for issues such as:
It is also beneficial in the treatment of insomnia as it can calm down your nervous system before you go to sleep.
Box breathing is a breathing technique with yoga roots that involves breathing in counts of four. It is a great way to deal with stress and anxiety. What’s more, if you practice it regularly, you become better at responding to stressful future situations. So start box breathing today!