Do You Practice Box Breathing?
Box breathing is a great way to tap into the relaxation response. The more you practice, the easier it will come to you in times of need.
1. Sitting with feet on the floor, inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to the count of four.
In this step, count to four very slowly in your head. Feel the air fill your lungs, one section at a time, until your lungs are completely full and the air moves into your abdomen.
2. Hold your breath for another slow count of four.
3. Exhale through your mouth for the same slow count of four, expelling the air from your lungs and abdomen.
4. Hold your breath for the same slow count of four.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s sufficient evidence that intentional deep breathing can actually calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
The slow holding of breath allows carbon dioxide (CO2) to build up in the blood. An increased blood CO2 enhances the cardio-inhibitory response of the vagus nerve when you exhale and stimulates your parasympathetic system. This produces a calm and relaxed feeling in the mind and body.
Box breathing can reduce stress and improve your mood. It can also help treat insomnia by allowing you to calm your nervous system at night before bed. Box breathing can even be efficient at helping with pain management.