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Mindfulness Practice: Box Breathing

Breath based mindfulness practices are one of my favorite ways to grow a practice because you don't need anything specific to practice - your breath is with you all the time. Breathing techniques bring our awareness and focus into our bodies and the present moment, while also changing our body's physical responses to stressors.

What is Box Breathing?

Box Breathing is a breathing technique where you inhale and exhale for equal counts with pauses in between. Box breathing has been shown to calm and regulate your nervous system and is a great strategy for resetting and grounding. You can use the technique when you are feeling stressed or simply as a mindfulness practice during your day.

How to Practice Box Breathing

  • INHALE: 4 count

  • PAUSE*: 4 count

  • EXHALE: 4 count

  • PAUSE*: 4 count

  • Repeat (you can use other durations as long as all four are the same). The number of repetitions is entirely up to you.

*I like to refer to the space between the inhale and exhale as a pause, rather than holding your breath. The idea of holding your breathe can inherently cause tension and you want to use these pauses to remain neutral.


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