Box Breathing Exercise

By Jack Fox, M.A. Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia 

We are headed towards fall weather! While some may be excited by the change of seasons, others may be worried about what the colder weather might mean for their ability to use calming techniques like being outside or going on a walk. As we transition to the cooler weather, the stress and anxiety we are all feeling is not going to go away. Let’s cover an easy, at-home exercise that has been proven to reduce stress and provide a sense of calm.

Box Breathing Exercise 

Box breathing, or square breathing, is a technique that focuses on controlling breathing rate in order to regulate many different functions in the body. Blood pressure, heart rate, stress levels, and even anxious feelings can all improve through the use of this exercise!

Here are the steps to practice box breathing:

  1. In a calm environment, breathe in slowly through your nose, over the span of 4 seconds.
  2. Hold that breath for another 4 seconds.
  3. Breathe out through your mouth over a count of 4 seconds, focusing on the feeling of the breath leaving your lungs.
  4. Hold your breath for another 4 seconds.
  5. Repeat the process until you start to feel calm and more grounded.
Here is a helpful visual to assist with the timing:
About Jack Fox:

Jack graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.S. in Psychology and recently finished his graduate work at Regent University with a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Throughout his studies, Jack has seen and worked with many clients, both adolescents and adults, struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment issues, and even people with a desire to get to know themselves just a little bit better! The more Jack has worked with people, the more a simple truth has come to light: You are not alone!

Jack believes that success in therapy results from a combination of understanding first what is dysfunctional, then where the dysfunction comes from. Finally, changing a behavior resulting from the thoughts or emotions driving the dysfunction can result in truly powerful changes in life. He mainly uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy, EDMR, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy to help attain the goals of his clients. Through these techniques, Jack enters into relationship with his clients and gets to understand and hear their full story, providing a safe environment for vulnerability. To learn more about Jack, visit HERE.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.