Mindful Monday no. 22 – Square Breathing Exercise

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A healthy mind has an easy breath. -Author Unknown

In our busy lives, it is hard to take a moment to catch your breath. Our lives are often over- scheduled and despite our best intentions, it can be hard to fit in time for self-care. Breathing exercises are quick and easy ways to relieve our building stress.

Square breathing, also known as box breathing or four-square breathing, is a technique to control the breath and become more mindful. I’ve done this breathing exercise while waiting at the doctor’s office, while in the grocery store line-up, and even on my morning commute.

How to do the Square Breathing Exercise: 

  1. Sit with both your feet firmly on the ground and your back straight.
  2. Breathe in through your nose for four counts.
  3. Hold your breath for four counts so the air fills your lungs.
  4. Exhale for four counts until your lungs are empty.
  5. Hold your breath for more four counts.
  6. Repeat 2-3 times at minimum.

You can visualize the four sides of a square as you complete the exercise. While you could just take a few deep breaths, I find the counting in conjunction with the breathing exercise allows me to become focused on the present moment. I hope you add this breathing exercise to your arsenal of techniques. If you want a few other breathing exercise ideas, check out this list.

What success have you had with this breathing exercise?

Lindsay

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