How do I deal with Anxiety? Tip #2 (Box Breathing)
Updated: Nov 24, 2021
In a previous post (here) I described a grounding technique that can be used to help manage the overwhelm that we can experience when feeling anxious.
It's always good to have a number of tools in our anxiety management toolbox, so today I'm introducing you to a very simple technique called Box Breathing.
This technique is taught to U.S. Navy SEALs to help them stay calm and focused in the intensely stressful situations that they can find themselves in. This is because it is an incredibly effective technique for calming the nervous system and relieving stress.
To try it out yourself - get settled into a comfortable position and close your eyes if that feel comfortable. Now visualise a square shape and imagine tracing a line around the edges of the shape - some people find it beneficial to actually move their eyes to trace the shape. Then...
* as you travel along the bottom of the box, inhale slowly through
your nose and count to four
* then start to travel up the side and hold your breath for a further
count of four
* breathe out through your mouth for a count of four as you travel
along the top, and
* hold for a count of four as you travel back down the other side
* repeat three or four times to bring a sense of calm
At first you may find it difficult to find a rhythm by counting to four, and if this is the case then you could try counting to three instead. With practice you may be able to slow things down to count to five or even six.
Experiment...see what works for you, and let me know in the comments below how you got on.