Read below for some more information on a brief and easy to learn breathing technique you may find helpful in stressful situations
Box breathing, or square breathing, is a simple breathing exercise that can be done to reduce stress and regulate the body’s physical response to stress and trauma. It is taught to military personnel and first responders as a coping skill for traumatic situations and stress management.
While recommended you sit comfortably and calmly in a quiet place, this breathing technique can be used anywhere (ex. a business meeting, a difficult night out, a crisis situation) and most people will not be able to realize you are doing anything out of the norm.
Note: Always begin with a normal exhale out of the mouth. This helps regulate our body’s breathing and physical stress response. For people with PTSD, panic attacks, and similar issues, this initial exhale may be critical to regulating the physical response of stress and anxiety and not further fueling a heightened physical response.
After your breath out you can begin.
Step 1: Inhale through your nose for four seconds.
Step 2: Hold your breath for four seconds.
Step 3: Exhale out of your mouth for four seconds.
Step 4: Hold for four seconds
At least four cycles are recommended but you can do what is comfortable. If 4 seconds is too much and you find it difficult or you are light headed do 3 seconds. If too easy try 5 seconds! See what works for you.
-Chris Dorian, founder of Know Your Why Recovery