This Box (or ‘Square’) breathing exercise is a simple breathing technique for calming ourselves down if we’re becoming stressed or anxious and breathing from the chest, rather than from the diaphragm, where we divide our breathing into four steps as we breathe along the four edges of the accompanying box.

It can also be helpful as a preventative measure, avoiding the above occurring in the first place.
Whichever, when we’re calm or calmed down, we’re more likely to think and behave rationally and logically.

If we are starting to feel stressed or anxious and our breathing is becoming too shallow and fast – which can only contribute to feelings of anxiety – box breathing helps us to move out of the fight-or-flight state into our body’s system responsible for rest and digestion: from the sympathetic into the parasympathetic nervous system. And as above, when we start to breathe in a calm way, our body tells our brain and our brain tells our body that “I’m okay”, “I’m not under threat” and “I’m safe” etc. in a positive feedback loop.

✔️Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4. Feel the air enter your lungs
✔️Hold your breath in your lungs to a count of 4
✔️Exhale through your mouth to a count of 4
✔️Hold your breath to a count of 4
Repeat until you feel relaxed and your breathing has returned to normal/automatic.

You’ll find minor variations to the four steps as described, all are pretty similar though.

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