Fitness

De-stress In Four Minutes With Box Breathing

Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Hold. Feeling better already? Box breathing is as easy and quick. Even used by US Navy SEALS, policemen, nurses, this technique can calm your inner storm.

By D Tejaswi

74 percent of Indians are stressed, says a 2020 report by The Center Of Healing (TCOH). Series of lockdowns, job cuts, health risks, uncertainty have exacerbated possible stress triggers for everyone. When you need a quick fix, try Box Breathing. A time-honoured technique, box breathing is like sending a quick email to your brain to relax and calm down. It is also used as a part of psychotherapy. Box breathing reduces unpleasant body responses of stress such as increased heart rate, palpitations, shortness of breath and muscle tension, says a study published in StatPearls. Practice the technique before, during, or after a stressful situation to centre yourself. The best part? You don’t need calm surroundings; it is effective in a variety of environments.

How to practice box breathing?
Visualise a square —each side representing each step.
Step 1: Breathe-in through your nose for the count of 4.
Step 2: Hold breath for the count of 4.
Step 3: Breath out for the count of 4.
Step 4: Hold breath for the count of 4.
Step 5: Repeat
You can adjust the timeframe of each breath based on your comfort levels.

 

Benefits of Box Breathing

  • Controls stress response, also known as fight or flight mode of body.
  • Bolsters the immune system by avoiding stress responses that suppresses immunity.
  • Encourages full oxygen exchange—promoting an optimal balance of incoming oxygen and outgoing carbon dioxide.
  • Helps stabilise blood pressure and slows the pounding heart rate.
  • Promotes progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Helps oxygen to reach the lowest part of lungs.
  • Improves emotional awareness and regulation.
  • Triggers the parasympathetic nervous system that can help a person feel better.

Try These Box Breathing Apps

1. Box Breathing by Unbeatable Minds: Take charge of your mind and emotions by practicing box breathing with this app. Using audio prompts and interactive panels, the app helps clear your mind and reduces anxiety.

Available on: Android and iOS

2.Box breathing—Breath Air: With this app you learn the power of conscious control of lungs. The app is also helpful for someone who is looking to get better sleep at night. Further, the app can improve concentration, lower blood pressure and enhance your mood.

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