Relieve Anxiety Through Box Breathing: Here's How To Do It
Relieve Anxiety Through Box Breathing: Here's How To Do It

Box breathing was developed by the US military to be able to manage stress and boost performance. How to practice it?

Written by Kinkini Gupta |Published : November 4, 2023 4:05 PM IST

Most of us in this day and age are plagued with the feelings of anxiety. The trigger factors can be something as big as losing a loved one or getting fired from a job or even small everyday things like crumbling work pressure, competition, familial issues, arguments, etc. Have we figured out a way to deal with this? As a matter of fact, no one can be an expert at dealing with anxiety; it takes practice, restrictions and patience. Even with these in place, it may not work all the time.

A new deep breathing technique called box breathing may however help. According to research, this technique was developed by the United States military. It apparently helped them improve their performance, manage stress and face dire situations. It has been proven that it certainly has an impact on stress, anxiety, fear and may help people take control of their emotions.

What Is Box Breathing?

This exercise is also referred to as 'square breathing or tactical breathing'. It may be confusing because it has so many different names. The name 'box breathing' was given because the pattern of breathing resembles a box and that is what people used to focus on in their mind when they practiced it.

What Is The Technique of Breathing?

It basically involves four steps. In the first step, you take a deep breath; the second step is to hold the breath. The third step is to breathe out and lastly, hold your breathe again.

Here's how you can practice it:

  1. First, breathe in very slowly and while you are doing it count to 4. Breathe through your nose and not your mouth.
  2. Stop and hold your breathe till you count to 4 again. Do it slowly.
  3. Next, breathe out slowly and count to 4. Utilise every second.
  4. After breathing out, hold your breath again and count 4 times.
  5. You can repeat this as many times you want, until you feel better.
  6. You can also practice this anytime and at any place.

What Are The Benefits Of Box Breathing?

Here are the benefits:

  1. It will help you relax and decompress
  2. It will keep you distracted from your thoughts and force you to focus on your breathing
  3. It will slow down your heart rate
  4. promotes a balance between sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest) nervous system activity.
  5. Researchers reveal that the effects can be felt in just 5 minutes.
  6. It can activate your parasympathetic nervous system.

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