Stress has become an inevitable part of modern life. The constant flow of information, the pressure to perform, and the never-ending demands of our fast-paced lives can take a toll on our mental and physical health. This is where we can use breathing techniques. Remember, our body matches our brain, and the brain matches our body. It can help with the stress loop that we can find ourselves in sometimes.
This is where box breathing comes in – a simple yet powerful breathing technique that can help you manage stress and increase your energy levels.
Here is what one of our business dads said about the practice.
Lee introduced me to box breathing after the CO2 tolerance test in the morning, it helps me to start the day and set me in the right state.
Box breathing is a technique that involves taking slow, deep breaths while focusing on the count of each inhale and exhale. This technique has been used for centuries in yoga, meditation, and other relaxation practices to calm the mind and promote overall well-being.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits for stress management and increasing energy. We’ll also provide step-by-step instructions on practising this technique and incorporating it into your daily routine.
What is Box Breathing?
Box breathing is a simple yet effective technique that involves taking slow, deep breaths while focusing on the count of each inhale and exhale. It is called “box” breathing because the inhale, hold, exhale, and hold phases of the breath are equal in length and form a box-like shape.
How Does IT Work?
Box breathing works by activating the body’s relaxation response, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels. When we breathe deeply and slowly, we signal to our body that we are safe and not in danger, which triggers a relaxation response. This response can help to lower our heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels, all of which are associated with stress and anxiety.
The Benefits for Stress Management
Box breathing has been shown to be an effective tool for managing stress and anxiety. Some of the benefits of box breathing for stress management include:
- Reducing stress and anxiety levels
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving focus and concentration
- Promoting feelings of calm and relaxation
- Reducing symptoms of PTSD and trauma
- Improving sleep quality
The Benefits for Increasing Energy
In addition to its stress-reducing benefits, box breathing can also help to increase energy levels. This is done by:
- Increasing oxygen intake
- Improving blood circulation
- Boosting cognitive function
- Enhancing athletic performance
- Improving overall well-being
How to Practice
Practising box breathing is easy and can be done anywhere, anytime. Follow these steps.
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
- Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of four.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of four.
- Repeat steps 2-5 for 5-10 minutes.
You can use this video to support your practice.
Tips for Incorporating Breathing into Your Daily Routine
To experience the full benefits of box breathing, making it a regular part of your daily routine is essential. Here are some tips to help you incorporate box breathing into your daily routine:
- Set aside time: Schedule a specific time each day to practice box breathing. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or before bed, finding a consistent time can help you establish a routine and make it easier to stick with.
- Find a quiet space: To fully immerse yourself in practice, it’s important to find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. This could be a spare room, a park bench, or even your car.
- Use a timer: To avoid constantly checking the clock, use a timer to set a specific amount of time for your practice. Start with just five minutes and gradually work up to longer sessions. There are some great apps out there; check out Breath+
- Incorporate box breathing into your day: You don’t have to set aside a specific time to practice box breathing. You can incorporate it into your day whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Take a few minutes to step away from your work, find a quiet space, and practice a few rounds of box breathing.
FAQ’s about Box Breathing
- Is it safe for everyone to practice?
Box breathing is generally safe for most people to practice. However, if you have a respiratory condition, such as asthma or COPD, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new breathing techniques.
- How long does it take to feel the benefits?
Some people may feel the benefits of box breathing after just one session, while others may need to practice regularly for a few weeks before noticing a significant difference.
- Can box breathing be done while exercising?
Yes, box breathing can be a helpful technique to use during exercise. It can help to improve your focus, increase your oxygen intake, and reduce feelings of fatigue.
Box breathing is a powerful tool for managing stress, reducing anxiety, and increasing energy levels. We coach breathwork into our all coaching programmes to support clients to perform their best. If you want to find out why coaching is so important as a leader, check out this article here.
By taking just a few minutes each day to practice this technique, you can experience its many benefits. Whether you’re dealing with a stressful situation at work or need a quick pick-me-up during the day, box breathing is a simple yet effective technique to help you find calm and clarity in any situation. So why not give it a try? If you do please let us know. Your mind and body will thank you!
If you are looking to improve as a business dad, check out the business dads pathway here.
Progress over perfection