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Box Breathing

Box Breathing

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Definition

Box breathing is a breathing exercise to be used when taking slow, deep breaths. The Box breathing technique has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever while also heightening concentration and performance. This technique can be beneficial for everyone, particularly for those who wish to reduce stress or meditate. 

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How to Do It

As you prepare to get started with box breathing, ensure that you are seated upright, yet comfortably on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. It is advisable to choose a quiet, stress-free environment where you can focus on your breathing. Place your hands on your lap with palms facing up and try to calm your mind as best as you can.

Step 1: Exhale slowly

Exhale through your mouth slowly and consciously, fully aware of the movement of air out of your lungs.

Step 2: Inhale slowly

Inhale through your nose slowly and deeply to the count of four. It is important that you maintain a slow pace while counting in your head. Fill your lungs completely with fresh air.

Step 3: Hold your breath

Hold your breath to another slow count of four.

Step 4: Exhale again

Exhale slowly, again to the count of four. Be conscious of the feeling of the air leaving your lungs and abdomen.

Step 5: Hold your breath again

Hold your breath to the same count of four before you cycle back to the beginning of the process.

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Benefits

  • Regulates and calms the autonomic nervous system (ANS)
  • May lower blood pressure
  • May provide an instantaneous sense of calm
  • May complement treatment for anxiety and stress disorders
  • May help with insomnia and/or pain management
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Time Commitment

2 minutes

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Why it works

There is ample evidence to support the claim that intentional deep breathing can help soothe as well as regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This is the system responsible for regulating involuntary bodily functions.

The box breathing technique allows for a slow build up of CO2 in the bloodstream. This results in an invigorated cardio-inhibitory response of the vagus nerve on exhaling. This directly stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and brings about a feeling of peace and calm in the body and mind.

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Suggested Frequency

Daily or several times a day, as per need

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Side Effects

Beginners might feel dizzy after performing the box breathing technique for the first couple of days. This is completely normal and can be reduced and eliminated with more and more practice.

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Gurus/Celebrities Doing it

Mark Divine

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Category Health/Productivity/Mood:

Health, Focus, Mood

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Suggested Time of Day

Anytime

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Notes

A simple search for Box Breathing Navy SEALs will make you realize that this technique is, in fact, a part of the training Navy SEALs receive on a regular basis. This technique can prove to be useful for everyone as it improves concentration and promotes a sense of well-being.

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Category

 Mood  Confidence  Stress  Health  Sleep  Fitness  Productivity  Focus  Memory  Sharpness
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