Square breathing, also known as box breathing, is a technique used when taking slow, deep breaths. It can heighten performance and concentration while also being a powerful stress reliever.
This technique can be beneficial to anyone, especially those who want to meditate or reduce stress. It’s used by everyone from athletes to U.S. Navy SEALs, police officers, and nurses.
For maximum benefit, before starting the on-screen prompts, it is usually a good idea to sit in a chair with your back supported and both of your feet on the floor. Really feel the support of the chair and floor under you. Alternatively, you can sit in a seated meditation position or even lie down. The important thing is that your body is open to allow the breath to flow freely.
How to do Square Breathing
– Begin by slowly exhaling all of your air out.
– Gently inhale through your nose to a slow count of 4.
– Hold at the top of the breath for a count of 4.
– Gently exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.
– At the bottom of the breath, hold for the count of 4.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s sufficient evidence that intentional deep breathing can actually calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
This system regulates involuntary body functions such as temperature. It can lower blood pressure and provide an almost immediate sense of calm.
The slow holding of breath allows CO2 to build up in the blood. An increased blood CO2 enhances the cardio-inhibitory response of the vagus nerve when you exhale and stimulates your parasympathetic system. This produces a calm and relaxed feeling in the mind and body.
Box breathing can reduce stress and improve your mood. That makes it an exceptional treatment for conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.
It can also help treat insomnia by allowing you to calm your nervous system at night before bed. Box breathing can even be efficient at helping with pain management.
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