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Posted 11/30/2021 in Christian Mental Health Tips

Boxed Breathing: Your Top Questions Answered!

Boxed Breathing: Your Top Questions Answered!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by modern life? Do everyday anxieties keep you up at night, or cause difficulty in focus during the day? If these worries have been grating on your mental health, then it’s time to look into boxed breathing. This simple and efficient technique has the power to improve sleep quality, reduce stress levels, increase energy, and significantly improve concentration. Sound too good to be true? In this blog post, we’ll answer all of your questions about boxed breathing so that you can see for yourself how it works!

box breathing

What Is Box Breathing?

Box Breathing is also know as square breathing, four-square breathing, 4×4 breathing, 4-part breath, Navy SEAL breathing technique, or tactical breathing. It is a form of meditation and deep breathing to help regulate your body's natural response to stress. Box breathing involves inhaling for four seconds, holding the breath for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, then holding the breath out for another four before repeating the process. Box breathing helps you bring awareness to your mind and body as it relaxes them both at the same time. It can be practiced in any environment – whether sitting quietly or standing up – with practice yielding more excellent benefits over time.

How to Get Started with Box Breathing?

The best way to get started with Box Breathing is to find a comfortable place and posture where you can comfortably focus on your breathing. Once you have found the right spot, it's essential to take deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth. As you do this, count each breath in four-count intervals until you reach four seconds for each inhale and exhale. Repeat this process several times before taking a break.

How to Practice Box Breathing?

  • Begin by slowly exhaling all of your air out.

  • Then, gently breath in though your nose to a slow count of 4.

  • Hold at the top of the breath for a count of 4. Try to avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds.

  • Then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.

  • At the bottom of the breath, pause and hold for the count of 4.

  • Repeat the above steps until you feel re-centered.

When to Use Box Breathing Technique?

Box breathing, also known as four-square breathing, is a simple yet effective breathing exercise that can be used in various situations to promote relaxation and stress relief. This technique is easy to learn and can be done anywhere, making it an accessible tool for managing stress and anxiety.Ad for It is Well A Christian Guided Journal

Box breathing can be helpful in many situations, including:

  • To calm yourself down when faced with stress or feeling overwhelmed: If you're feeling stressed or anxious, box breathing can help you take a step back and focus on your breath to calm down.

  • Before responding to a high-stress situation: Taking a few moments to do some box breathing before a stressful event can help you face the situation.

  • When trying to sleep: If you're having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, box breathing can be a helpful relaxation technique to promote better sleep.

  • To reduce work stress: Workplace stress is daily, but it doesn't have to be unmanageable. Taking some time out for box breathing during work hours can help reduce stress and improve your productivity.

  • To reset your creative juices: If you're feeling stuck creatively, box breathing can help clear your mind and give you some fresh ideas.

  • When you need to clear your head: It cannot be easy to think in today's fast-paced world. Box breathing allows you to break from the noise and clear your head.

  • In a meeting at work: Meetings can be stressful, but box breathing can help you stay focused and present during even the most challenging discussion.

  • When setting your intentions for the day: Starting your day with some box breathing can help set the intention for a calm and productive day ahead.

  • When making a big decision: Big decisions can be overwhelming, but box breathing can help you approach them.

Where to Practice Box Breathing?

Anywhere! Box breathing can be done anywhere and anytime if you find a comfortable and relaxed position. You can do it at home, in the office, or even outdoors – wherever works best for you.

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Are There Any Tips for Box Breathing?

Yes! Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your box breathing practice:

Keep your eyes closed and focus on your breath: Box breathing can be done with your eyes open, but it is often more effective with your eyes closed so that you can focus entirely on the breath.

Take deep breaths: Focusing on taking deeper breaths rather than shallow ones can help relax tense muscles and lower blood pressure.

Use diaphragmatic breathing: Box breathing involves focusing on slow, controlled breaths while engaging the diaphragm to deepen the breath. This type of deep abdominal breathing helps activate the body's parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest.

Make you exhale longer than you inhale: Box breathing requires that you make the exhale phase of the breath slightly longer than the inhale phase, which helps to relax muscle tension and slow heart rate.

Practice box breathing with prayer: Consider saying a short prayer like one of below while practicing. When you incorporate prayer with this technique, no only do you connect more deeply with your body, calm your nervous system, and decrease stress in your body; you also experience the peace that comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 6:8 

  • Inhale: Father, You know 

  • Exhale: What I need 

Download NowPsalm 121:2

  • Inhale: My help 

  • Exhale: Comes from God 

1 Peter 5:7

  • Inhale: I cast my anxiety on You, 

  • Exhale: For you care for Me

John 14:27

  • Inhale: Jesus

  • Exhale: Peace

Ephesians 2:10

  • Inhale: I am Yours

  • Exhale: Use me

The above prayers are available for a free downloaded PDF by clicking this sentence. You can cut them out place them on your computer, bag/purse/wallet, Bible, car or wherever would be a good place to reminder you to just breath because God has it all under control. I love using a clear phone case and putting them on my phone.

What are The Benefits of Box Breathing?

Now that you know how to do it, let's take a look at some of the benefits of box breathing: 

Lowers stress: One of the most well-known benefits of box breathing is its ability to lower stress levels. When stressed, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode, which releases cortisol—a stress hormone—into our systems. This cortisol increase can lead to issues like high blood pressure and anxiety. Fortunately, deep breathing techniques like box breathing can help to lower cortisol levels and alleviate some of the adverse effects of stress. 

Activates the parasympathetic nervous system: Another benefit of box breathing is that it activates the parasympathetic nervous system—the part of the nervous system responsible for rest and digestion. When stressed, our sympathetic nervous system—the part of the nervous system responsible for fight-or-flight mode—is activated. This can lead to issues like an increased heart rate and shallow breathing. However, activating the parasympathetic nervous system through box breathing can help counteract some of these adverse effects. 

Calms the mind: Besides its physical benefits, box breathing can also help to calm and focus the mind. When we're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, it can be challenging to think straight or be productive. However, by taking a few minutes to focus on our breath and clear our minds, we can improve our cognitive function and help ourselves feel more centered and capable. 

What to do if Box Breathing does not Help?

If Box Breathing does not help to reduce stress or relax you; you may one to consider deep breathing or a contact point exercise. These other tech These other breathing exercises can be helpful to focus on taking deep breaths and inhaling slowly while counting – this can help you remain focused on the breath and clear your mind.

Additionally, engaging in physical activities like yoga and meditation can also help lower your stress levels. If Box Breathing still doesn't seem to be doing the trick, it may be best to speak with a Christian counselor or mental health professional about additional methods for reducing stress and regulating your nervous system. You can find a local provider that share your faith by searching our directory here: Therapy for Christians Find a Provider.

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About the Author: 

Dr. Corine Williams creator of scripture coloring pages

Corine Williams, Ph.D. is Clinical Psychologist that is currently seeing clients in the States of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. You can find out more about her practice by visiting

www.therapyforchristians.com/corinewilliams.  In addition to providing individual therapy, Dr. Williams is also passionate about writing books and designing merchandise that educate, uplift, and normalize mental health subject in the Christian community. You can find out more about her at  www.booksbycorine.com or by visiting her amazon profile here: https://www.amazon.com/Corine-Hyman/e/B00AWZ5FL2

Help us increase mental health awareness in the Christian community by donating through our paypal link here: www.paypal.com/therapyforchristians, joining our mailing list by clicking below, or join our provider list here: Provider listing

Disclaimer: the information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are looking for a Christian counselor near you, please check out our directory located here:  Christians Therapist Near Me

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