Breathwork (box breathing) for stress reduction – Dr. Jason Jones Elizabeth City NC, Chiropractor
When you’re stressed, the level of the cortisol hormone associated with stress rise in your body, and one of the best measures to reverse these cortisol spikes is breathwork or deep breathing.
Box breathing is a technique that involves taking slow, deep breaths. It is simple and you can practice it anytime to relieve stress, boost concentration and heighten your performance.
Everyone benefits from breathwork, from athletes, to police officers, and even nurses. It can be particularly helpful to you if you have lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How to do Box Breathing
Before starting out, you have to sit upright in a comfortable chair and keep your feet flat on the floor. More so, ensure you stay in a stress-free quiet environment that can support your concentration.
Keep your hands relaxed in your laps, and let your palms face up. Focus on your posture and maintain an upright posture. This helps you perform this breathwork properly.
The first step after sitting upright is to exhale slowly through your mouth (You can count 1 to 4 slowly). This helps to push out oxygen out of your lungs. However, you have to focus on your breath and be conscious of what you’re doing.
Hold your breath and Inhale slowly
After exhaling for a slow count of four, try to hold your breath for another slow count of four, and then inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Do this to a slow count of four and feel the air filling your lungs. Continue until your lungs are full and air starts to move into your abdomen.
Hold your breath and Exhale slowly again
Hold your breath for a slow count of four and exhale through your mouth for another slow count of four. This expels the air from your lungs and abdomen.
Repeat the process
After breathing out, repeat the process all over again. Repeat 4-10 times
Benefits of box breathing for stress reduction
Deep breathing has been shown by much research to regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS). It helps to regulate body temperature, lowering blood pressure and giving a sense of calm.
Box breathing helps reduce stress and improve your mood. The slow holding of breath allows the build- up of CO2 in the bloodstream. And this boosts the cardio-inhibitory response of the vague nerves as you exhale. The end result is a calm and relaxed feeling in your mind and body.
You can use the box breathing for treating conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and depression.
This breathwork is also effective for treating insomnia allowing you to calm your nervous system at night before going to bed. More so, you can use box breathing to manage pain conditions.
However, note that as a beginner who’s new to box breathing, you may find it hard to get the hang of it. Also, it is normal to feel dizzy after a few rounds. Don’t worry about that; as you practice it the more, you’ll be able to hang on longer without any feeling of dizziness. You can consult Dr. Jason Jones at our Chiropractic office at Elizabeth City, NC. To learn more about breathing techniques to help you manage stress.