Box breathing is a simple, yet powerful breathing exercise that can help you slow down your breathing and de-stress in a short amount of time. It works by focusing your attention away from your stressor and back to your breath.
Have you ever noticed when you’re faced with struggle, your breath gets shorter and maybe quicker? Your breathing migrates from your stomach - where a relaxed breath originates - to the upper chest, where the shallow breath of stress keeps us feeling on edge. It’s easy to ignore the signs our bodies are trying to tell us. Box breathing can help return your breathing to a relaxed rhythm. It’s quick and easy to learn!
Getting started: First, find a comfortable seat, stand, or lie down on your back. Take a moment to just breathe naturally here, in and out through your nose. The full exercise will be done nasally.
Step 1: Breathe in for a count of four seconds.
Step 2: Hold your breath for four seconds (full lungs).
Step 3: Exhale your breath for four seconds.
Step 4: Hold your breath for four seconds (empty lungs).
Repeat this as many times as you’d like. As you continue your box breathing, imagine your breath going up, across, down, and across the sides of a box. One minute of deep breathing can help you relax and feel more centered. This is a great exercise to do in both moments of stress or as a daily practice.