There are a lot of different breathing techniques out there but they all share a similar goal. Today we want to share with you one of our favourite techniques which we find the easiest to do and remember!
The benefit of doing breathing exercises can vary for each person but what you’ll find it helps with is a few really simple yet important things.
- Help reduce stress and encourage your bodies relaxation response
- Increases oxygenation to the lungs which can help boost energy production and alertness
- Improve and strengthen our respiratory function including our ‘breathing muscles’
- Help provide mental clarity and clearer thinking
- Learn how to better self-regulate your emotional responses
Box Breathing Technique:
This technique involves equalising the duration of each phase of the breath to create a pattern that resembles the sides of a square.
Here’s how to practice it:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place: Sit in a relaxed position, either on a chair with your feet flat on the floor or cross-legged on a cushion.
- Close your eyes or soften your gaze: Close your eyes gently if you feel comfortable, or maintain a soft gaze focused on a spot in front of you.
- Relax your body: Take a moment to release any tension in your body. Soften your facial muscles, relax your shoulders, and let go of any tightness or stiffness.
- Inhale for a count of four: Slowly and deeply inhale through your nose, counting to four in your mind. Feel your breath filling your abdomen and chest as you inhale.
- Hold for a count of four: Once you’ve completed your inhalation, hold your breath for a count of four. Keep your breath comfortably held without straining.
- Exhale for a count of four: Slowly exhale through your mouth or nose, counting to four. Empty your lungs completely and feel the release of tension as you exhale.
- Hold for a count of four: After exhaling, hold your breath out for a count of four before beginning the next inhalation. Maintain a comfortable pause without any strain.
- Repeat for several cycles: Continue this pattern of inhaling for four counts, holding for four counts, exhaling for four counts, and holding for four counts. Start with a few cycles and gradually increase the number as you become more comfortable.
- Focus on your breath and the counts: Throughout the practice, maintain your attention on the breath and the counts. Allow the rhythm of the breath to anchor you in the present moment and let go of any distracting thoughts or worries.
- Gradually increase the tempo: If you feel comfortable, you can gradually increase the tempo by shortening the counts to three or two. This can enhance alertness and engagement.
Box breathing can be practiced whenever you feel the need to reduce stress, calm your mind, or increase focus and alertness. It’s a simple and effective technique that can be done almost anywhere. Remember to adjust the duration of the counts according to your comfort level and to practice with a relaxed and gentle approach.