Today’s article will be discussing box breathing. This technique has been around for thousands of years in yoga practice but hasn’t had as much publicity as it maybe should have. That has began to change in recent years with advocates such as Wim Hoff and the Navy Seals singing it’s praises.
What is box breathing?
Box breathing is a method of conscious deep breathing that is used to calm the mind and body. Whilst being able to boost sporting and athletic performance it can be a huge stress reliever as well due to the meditative nature of the practice.
It is named box breathing due to the way in which one is supposed to envision each breath. More on this a little bit later.
Box breathing can be used for a variety of things. Its main uses include but are not limited to;
- Calming the sympathetic nervous system.
- Improving PTSD.
- Decreasing anxiety and panic attack prevalence.
- Aiding in the induction and quality of sleep.
- Improving pain management.
How do I do it?
As mentioned before, you must envision your breathes in a box format. There are four steps to this process – each step forming one side of the box. Now we have that oh-so complicated visual exercise out of the way I’ll give you the steps.
- Whilst sitting up straight, inhale for four seconds, filling your lungs with as much air as possible.
- Hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds.
- Exhale for four seconds, completely emptying your lungs of any air.
- Hold this emptiness for four seconds.
Repeat this process for as long as you want until you either fall asleep or are de-stressed beyond belief.
Remember, it is normal to feel slightly dizzy if it’s your first few times doing this so don’t worry about that. Just take a rest and make sure you’re not standing up when you practice it. Easy.
Why should I use it?
If you’re looking to improve your stress levels then this can be a massively useful tool as it brings you into the present moment and stops your mind from dwelling on unnecessary details of your life. Lowering your stress can be one of the most important factors to focus on when trying to decrease cortisol, which can aid in increasing testosterone so give box breathing some serious thought.
The other impressive benefit of box breathing I listed above was that it can actually help you to get to sleep whilst also improving the quality of that sleep too. I know so many people who struggle with sleep and it affects them the next day in a seemingly never-ending cycle. Most of the time, people struggle to get enough sleep because their minds are constantly doing overtime worrying about every little thing in their lives.
By focusing solely on breathing it prevents your mind from thinking about anything else, allowing you to drift into a much deeper, uninterrupted sleep. As we all know, quality sleep is key to maintaining high testosterone levels so anything that can help with this is absolutely invaluable.
So there you have it, box breathing’s origins, its uses and why exactly you should use it. Give box breathing a go for the next 2 weeks and see if you notice improvements to your day-to-day life. I guarantee you will.