Breathe Your Way to Better

Breathing techniques can be valuable for overcoming the obstacles we face in daily life. Whether it's anxiety, stress, or anything that throws you off balance throughout the day, a technique known as "box breathing" might be just the tool you need! 
Simply put, box breathing is a technique used to calm your nervous system down. Use a four second rotation of breathing in, holding your breath, breathing out and holding your breath once more. Repeat as many times as needed, until you feel more calm, relaxed, present and/or focused. The goal is to be in a better place, mentally, to respond to whatever comes your way.

FUN FACT: this technique is famous for being used by some of the strongest and toughest men in our country, the US Navy SEALs. In an article titled "How To De-Stress in 5 Minutes or Less, According to a Navy SEAL," writer Noma Nazish interviewed a Navy Seal Commander about box breathing. Here's what she had to share:
" "Box breathing is a technique that helps you take control of your automatic breathing patterns to train your breath for optimal health and performance," says Mark Divine, former US Navy SEALs Commander, NYT bestselling author of The Way of the SEAL and founder of SEALFIT. "It combines the practice of optimal breathing with para-sympathetic activation, concentration and mindfulness training," he adds.
All you need to do is picture a box with equal sides, where the inhale, the holding of the breath, and exhale are all four counts (four seconds approx.). "As you take in a breath, for four counts, visualize traveling up one side of the square. Next, imagine moving across the top of the square during the four counts of holding your breath. Then follow the breath down the right side of the box on the exhale and watch it travel across the bottom of the square on the breath hold, following the exhale. Repeat the pattern," says Dr. Symington. "This visual provides a helpful anchor for your attention and quickly allows you to get into the flow of rhythmic breathing," adds the clinical psychologist." "

Next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, pull this tool outta your tool box- try box breathing. NOTICE how you feel afterwards. If you feel better, let that be motivation to try it again and again. After all, no matter where you are, being in a GOOD FEELING place is the best place to be!

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