[Image by Humusak of Pixabay]

If you’re one of my frequent clients, you know I place great importance on breathing.  How familiar are you with box breathing?  It’s a form of breathing used by athletes, U.S. Navy Seals, police officers and nurses, to name a few.

The advantages of box breathing are numerous.  Per information from the Mayo clinic, box breathing can be used to regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Box breathing is frequently used to reduce levels of stress and also to improve your mood. Box breathing is also effective in treating insomnia in that it allows you to calm your nervous system at night before going to bed. Finally, box breathing is simplistic and straightforward.

So how is box breathing done?  Think of a square so that you have a visual cue.  Here are the steps for this breathing technique:

Begin by expelling all the air in your lungs.

  1. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to the count of four.
  2. Hold your breath for a count of four.
  3. Exhale through your mouth to the count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of four.

Ideally, try box breathing for four cycles preferably while seated.  You may use box breathing as you see fit, several times a day to calm yourself, increase your ability to focus, and to relieve stress.  If you find counting to four challenging, start with a smaller number and increase to four when you’re able to do so.

Box breathing is another tool that you may consider adding to your toolbox.  When you do, I think you’ll find it to be rewarding with many benefits.