A friend of mine reminded me the other day the importance of intentional breathing. They could tell that some life events were starting to take a toll on me.
Many of us live pressure filled lives and stress naturally builds up causing our body to react with shorter, quicker breathing that robs the body of needed oxygen.
It may seem obvious that we need oxygen but we may not be as aware of all the benefits we receive from something we take for granted.
Stimulates the lymphatic system (Detoxifies the body)
Lowers blood pressure
Helps support correct posture
Box breathing is a powerful, yet simple, relaxation technique that aims to return breathing to its normal rhythm. This breathing exercise can help to clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus.
People with high-stress jobs, such as soldiers and police officers, often use box breathing when their bodies are in fight-or-flight mode. This technique is also relevant for anyone interested in re-centering themselves or improving their concentration.
Before starting, people should sit with their back supported in a comfortable chair and their feet on the floor.
Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds. Wait for 4 seconds prior to repeating steps 1 through 3. Ideally, continue doing the four steps for 4 minutes, or until calm returns.
So when you sense things are getting tough, be good to yourself. Stop, relax, and breathe deep.
Remember, you got this!