The simple mindful breathing technique I’m going to share with you here is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.
The effects are subtle when you first try the exercise but become more obvious with repetition and practice. Variations of this controlled breathing method are actually used by elite athletes to improve performance and by the military to help soldiers remain calm in traumatic conditions.
The technique is called Box Breathing and is best explained with the aid of the following diagram..
As you can see, the pattern is simply a box (hence the name), whereby you inhale to a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale to the same count of 4 and hold again for 4. You can start at 3 if this is difficult, or take it up a notch if easy. You should be reasonably comfortable throughout the exercise – don’t stretch yourself so that breathing and/or holding becomes a strain.
Note: Box breathing is best