Have you ever gotten nervous before or during something important? Maybe you’re going to give a speech in front of a large group of people or conquer something you fear. In extreme cases, nervousness can immobilize you. Imagine what would happen if a Navy Seal froze up while bullets were whizzing by his head, it wouldn’t end well. There are ways to calm yourself down in the heat of the moment and stop fear from taking over in the most stressful situations.
The box breathing technique is a concentration exercise that retrains your nervous system to breathe correctly. It only takes a few seconds to learn and less than a minute to perform but the results leave you feeling calm and focused.
Here’s how to do it:
Put your hand on your belly
Inhale deeply through your nostrils pushing out your hand
exhale fully, letting all the air out, pushing your hand toward your spine
let all the air out
repeat 3 times
Breathe in deeply through your nose for 4 seconds
Pause hold this breath for 4 more seconds
Exhale for 4 seconds until the air is completely out of your lungs
You’ve got no breath to hold but don’t freak out. Pause for another 4 seconds, you won’t die.
Repeat as needed. Hold for 5 or 6 seconds as you get better.
Box breathing a simple technique that will help you stay calm and centered no matter the situation. It may seem too easy to be effective, but if it works for Navy SEALS caught in a firefight it will certainly work for you the next time nerves get the better of you.
Some fun facts about nasal breathing
Breathing in through your nose increases Nitric Oxide levels in your bloodstream. Nitric Oxide expands your blood vessels, increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
Nasal breathing helps reduces snoring and sleep apnea and ensure a good night’s sleep.
Your nose has a 4 stage filtration system which includes: nose hair which filters out the particles in the air, mucous which has an enzyme that kills viruses and bacteria, the adenoids and tonsils which produce antibodies that fight infections. Your mouth only has two (the adenoids and tonsils).