Today, I am going to go through what is box breathing?
The reason why I wanted to discuss this is I had a couple of clients talk to me about anxiety and stress. I wanted to talk about ways to relieve that anxiety and stress.
One of the ways to do this is meditation. Contrary to what a lot of people believe. They think meditation is sitting there and having to sit down for like 30 minutes. I believe meditation, just getting mindful of the moment, is as simple as controlling your breathing.
Box breathing is a tool that I use myself, and I also recommend to a lot of people. I wanted to share with you some of the techniques and why you want to do box breathing.
So what is it? It is a breathing technique.
Also known as square breathing. Now it’s a technique where you’re taking slow deep breaths and a lot has been shown that it can heighten your performance, your concentration. Like I mentioned before, being a really good stress reliever, it’s beneficial to anyone. I mean, this technique can be used by anyone who wants to start meditating to reduce their stress. It’s used by athletes, even Navy seals use it.
I had just listened to a course on a podcast from a Green Beret that uses box breathing to get ready for sniper training. Tons of people use this: nurses, doctors, everyone. You may find it particularly helpful if you have any lung diseases or coronary obstructive pulmonary diseases.
Now, what is box breathing? It’s as simple as an inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four, and then a hold for four.
I want to do it together with you. Ready?
So we’re going to breathe in 2, 3, 4. We’re going to hold for 4, 2, 3, 4. You’re going to exhale for 4, 2, 3, 4, and then you’re going to hold for 4, 2, 3, 4. And it’s simple as that four count in hold out, hold, think of it as like a box.
That’s why they call it box breathing. Really intentional breathing can actually calm and regulate this autonomic nervous system. And this is the system that regulates things like, body functions, like your temperature and even your blood pressure.
It just gives you an immediate sense of calm. So when you just did it, it should calm you down a little bit. Also when you hold your breath a little bit, and you allow the CO2 to actually build up in your body, it actually helps enhance your ability to utilize oxygen.
I always use this example. A lot of people think that when they’re out of breath, they have to try to get in a lot of breaths. But the key is actually building up CO2 by holding your breath. That actually helps your body utilize the oxygen that’s in your blood and not actually filling your body.
Not over-breathing and hyperventilating is counterintuitive to that. So you want to hold your breath in order for your body to utilize oxygen better and calm down.
It also helps to promote relaxation and calm. When it does this, it actually helps stimulate your parasympathetic system. And this is the thing that actually calms you down and helps you feel relaxed, and reduces stress.
It’s also really good treatment for people with anxiety issues like post traumatic, traumatic stress syndrome or even depression. And it’s helped to treat people with insomnia.
Little story about myself and box breathing. I use it every night before I go to sleep. And I’ve noticed tremendous differences in just being able to fall asleep and not having to think so much.
I have stats to prove it because as I did the breathing I used to use a band called the whoop band. This tracked my sleep, and it asked me if I did breath work before going to sleep.
What would always improve would be my heart rate variability. This is an indicator of how well your body is resting. It would always shoot up every time I did some breath work, which was basically box breathing.
It’s a really helpful tool. It also can help with pain management as well.
So a couple of tips when you are getting started with this. You may get dizzy when doing box breathing for the first time, just because if you’re a beginner.
This is why you want to make sure you want to sit down when you do this, or even lie down. I do it before I go to sleep. In a dimly lit room, it doesn’t need to be dark. You could leave the lights on. It just helps you stay calm and stay in the moment because you will really want to focus on the breathing.
Now, here’s another tip you want to repeat this box breathing at least four times. So the rule of four. It’s breathing for four, holding for four, exhaling for four and holding for four, for four cycles.
And that should be enough to get you calm and relaxed for a little bit. You could do this several times a day throughout the day because mindfulness and stress relief is cumulative. Just like workouts. You can accumulate it over time, so it doesn’t have to be done all in one sitting, it could be done over time.
Box breathing is an excellent tool that you could utilize to help you, reduce that stress, reduce that anxiety and focus on the important things in your life, like dialing in your nutrition, getting into your workouts and living life to the fullest.
For more episodes visit: https://www.fight.fitness/being-a-ninja-podcast/
Connect with me 👋