When you feel overwhelmed with stress, too much work, and thoughts on your mind that prevent you from relaxing?
The square breathing technique, also known as box breathing, offers a great way of calming your mind and body almost instantly so you experience relaxation effectively.
This type of breathing style aims to shift your body’s energy to reduce stress and anxiety levels so that you feel a sensation of calmness flowing through your body, giving you the break you need.
The square breathing or box breathing technique focuses on four to five equally-measured stages, in counts of four, which involves an exhale, then an inhale, and holding your breath between each step.
When you visualize the process, you may see a box or circle formation in your mind, which gives you a sense of how this method can be strengthening and calming at the same time.
Square breathing exercises are highly effective in achieving instant relaxation, and they also provide many other significant benefits when you practice this method regularly:
- They improve your mental health by reducing anxiety. Square breathing is ideal for stress management and may alleviate some signs of depression.
- You’ll experience a greater sense of creativity, clarity, and focus. It’s a great way to clear your mind after a busy day.
- You’ll sleep better, which improves productivity at work during the day.
- You may experience pain relief from chronic health conditions
- It’s the perfect way to set your intentions and focus when you have a big decision to make.
Four square breathing is helpful for many situations, especially when you’re looking to refocus and relax quickly. It’s one of the most effective types of breathwork, especially when you have the right setting and a comfortable chair to get started.
Setting an Intention With an Image of a Square
Just like the name of this breathing exercise, imagine the shape of a square as you begin, as each side represents a different phase of the method. As this technique involves equal breathing, where each side is the same length, you can visualize how each inhale, holding of your breath, and exhale, is measured by the same count to four, which is how this controlling breathing is done.
During your breathwork, it’s ideal for visualizing yourself healing or being soothed due to the deep, slow breathing, which helps you reduce stress hormones and slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and it’s a great way to prepare for meditation.
When you practice box breathing or square breathing, sit upright in a firm chair with your back straight, and place one hand on your stomach. Ensure your feet are flat, on the floor, and evenly spaced apart.
Exhale completely so that your lungs are empty of oxygen, then take a breath, inhaling slowly, while counting to four. Then, hold your breath while counting to four again, followed by an exhale with the same count, pushing out all the air, just like the initial breath.
Repeat this process several times if you’ve just started this technique, and for up to five minutes for best results. As you inhale, you should feel your stomach rise, similar to diaphragmatic or belly breathing, a useful technique for relieving stress and supporting the digestive system. This mindful breathing method is ideal for practicing yoga, meditation, and gentle exercising before bed.
Tips for Practicing Square Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises are effective in providing many health benefits. For this reason, it’s important to perform these methods in a quiet, relaxing environment where you’re free of distractions or loud noises.
Fortunately, you can often find a suitable spot to practice breathing techniques almost anywhere, whether it’s your work office, at home, or on a camping trip.
Ideally, you’ll need a firm, but comfortable surface, whether you sit on a chair or the ground. A yoga mat, soft grass, or rug provides support and relieves stress. Dim the lights, or choose a shady spot under a tree, if you’re outdoors and with minimal interference or noise.
Practicing square breathing regularly can help with stress management by easing the nervous system and heart rate and preparing for a difficult task or situation.
When you implement square breathing as a regular part of your routine, you’ll experience significant improvement in coping with stressful situations, sleeping at night, and achieving inner peace quickly.
It’s one of the most effective ways to manage stress without any side effects or drawbacks. Square breathing works fast, so you’ll feel the effects of relaxation shortly after you begin. It’s the perfect method to prepare for a stressful meeting or situation.