Breathing, not even box breathing, is not something most of us think about during the course of our day. It’s just something that happens and is controlled by our bodies to take care of that task in our subconscious brain.
There is a breathing technique, one used by the Navy SEALs too, that can change the way you think about breathing as more than just inhaling and exhaling. The technique is called box breathing (or square breathing sometimes) and SEALs use it as a relaxation technique to calm their minds during stressful times or when they are trying to get to sleep. Box breathing can help you too. What is it anyway?
What is box breathing?
Box breathing (also known as square breathing or 4-square breathing) is a type of meditative breathing technique that can help reduce anxiety, stress, and other negative feelings. It involves breathing in for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of four, breathing out for a count of four, and then pausing for another count of four before starting the cycle again. With each exhale, the idea is to focus on releasing all of the stress from your body and allowing yourself to relax. It’s a simple, but effective technique that can be practiced anywhere and at any time.
Box breathing is a type of breathwork technique meant to disrupt your normal rhythm of breathing. Forcing yourself to be mindful of each step of the box takes concentration and helps to take your mind off the things that are causing you stress or anxiety along with other benefits as well.
What are the benefits of box breathing?
The benefits of this type of breathing technique include reduced stress and anxiety levels, improved concentration, increased relaxation and feelings of well-being, improved energy levels, and improved cardiovascular health. Additionally, box breathing can help you become more mindful and conscious of your body and its needs and can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.
If this is something new to you, like anything you are new to, it will take some practice. When you are first starting, be sure to really concentrate on the breathing and timing. After some time, this will become second nature to you and you won’t need to concentrate as hard on the technique, you’ll just get the benefit.
How do you practice box breathing?
The folks at MedicineNet give us some tips for how to practice this breathing technique.
1. Set a timer for five minutes.
2. Sit with a straight spine on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat.
3. Close your eyes and inhale for a count of four.
4. Hold your breath for a count of four.
5. Exhale for a count of four.
6. Hold for a count of four.
7. Repeat until the alarm sounds.
It’s a very easy breathing exercise that anyone can practice that you can do anywhere you can take a seat with benefits you can feel while you are practicing the technique.
How often should it be done?
When it comes to how often box breathing should be done, it is really up to the individual. Some people find it helpful to practice for five minutes each day, while others might find it more helpful to do it a few times per week or whenever they are feeling particularly anxious or stressed. It is also important to note that the effects of box breathing can be felt immediately, so repeating it multiple times in a single session or over a few days can be beneficial.
The point is, there are no rules or safety issues regarding how often you should or can practice box breathing. It’s all up to you. Are you having a particularly stressful day? Take five minutes and do some box breathing to help you relax. Are you having trouble getting to sleep at night? Take 5 minutes to do some box breathing to help calm your mind to help you get to sleep. Are you feeling anxious? Take 5 minutes for yourself to try some box breathing to help you minimize those feelings of anxiety.
When you do it and how often you do it are all up to you. Use it as little or as often as you need it.