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Stress is the body's way to react and respond to any kind of threat. This may affect your mental and physical health and your behaviour as well. To reduce the effects of stress and manage it, we have brought you a new breathing technique known as box breathing.
What Is Box Breathing?
Box breathing is also known as four-square breathing. Box breathing is a simple stress management exercise, a relatively new technique that will relieve you from stress. It is a type of paced breathing that follows a certain rhythm that may help clear the mind, relax the body and improve focus.
Why Is Box Breathing Vital For Health?
Resetting one's breath is good for both the mind and the body. This process can be in a rest-and-digest state. This state makes your body feel threatened and reacts to help the person avoid a threatening situation.
In this way, stress gets activated for too long and has adverse effects on our health. This can increase the risk of conditions like headaches, heart attacks, high blood pressure and stroke.
This is the reason why police officers and soldiers often use box breathing when their bodies are in a rest-and-digest state.
What Are The Benefits Of Box Breathing?
1. Reduction of physical stress symptoms
A study showed that participants in box breathing have lower levels of cortisol and increased attention levels after deep breathing. This deep breathing technique has been shown to significantly reduce hormone production linked to stress like cortisol.
2. Improves mental clarity and focus
A study showed that box breathing could increase your focus, improve your mental clarity and bring out the positivity in you. Some noted studies have shown that this breathing technique can be useful in the reduction of stress and anxiety and in treating depression.
3. Controls future reactions to stress
Studies show that box breathing has the ability to change someone's future reactions to stress. This deep breathing technique can alter how the body reacts to stress.
What Does Research Say?
Research shows that box breathing is useful not only for stress management, but also for lowering blood pressure and controlling hypertension as well.
Several studies have found that this deep breathing exercise is effective in reducing stress and anxiety in everyday situations.
How To Do Box Breathing?
This deep breathing technique is very simple to practice. Read the following steps :
- Sit down on a comfortable chair with your back supported.
- Close your eyes and breathe in slowly through your nose while counting to four.
- Hold your breath while counting slowly to four.
- Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
- Repeating these steps for 5 minutes will provide a quick break from stress.
Tips For Box Breathing
These are the tips that people can make a note of to make box breathing easier:
- Practice box breathing in a quiet space where there isn't any distraction.
- Relax the muscles and focus on feeling an expansion in the stomach. But don't force the muscles of the stomach to push out.
- When inhaling, try to feel the air.
- The deep breathing technique can be challenging at first. So, at first start by counting to three instead of four.
When Is The Best Time To Do Box Breathing?
It is best to practice box breathing or four-square breathing 5 minutes after waking up or after coming home from work.
If you are the one who practices meditation daily, you can include this breathing technique into your meditation routine.
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