Stress, anxiety, sleep difficulties, focus, and attention challenges are common issues that affect all of us. One effective method to address and alleviate these problems is through the practice of box breathing, a relaxation technique known for promoting profound relaxation and mental clarity. Box breathing has been adopted by US Navy SEALs, also referred to as square breathing, to enhance concentration in high-stress situations and maintain a sense of calm.
Box breathing is a relaxation technique that combines guided visualizations with controlled breathing exercises. As the name suggests, it involves visualizing a four-sided box, which serves as a reminder to follow the specific pattern and duration of each breath. This deliberate and measured breathing method not only calms the heart rate and reduces blood pressure but also enhances attention and focus.
One key aspect of box breathing is its ability to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a nearly immediate sense of calmness. This method encourages slow and prolonged breaths, allowing for the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. This, in turn, enhances the performance of the cardio-inhibitory response system.
To learn the various steps and benefits of box breathing, consider watching this instructional video by Sunnybrook Hospital.