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Box Breathing

Box breathing is a common practice to clear your mind, make decisions, calm your feelings of stress, overwhelm, or anxiousness, prepare for an intense interaction or meeting, or relax before sleep. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Begin by slowly exhaling all of your air out.

  2. Then, gently inhale through your nose to a slow count of 4.

  3. Hold softly at the top of the breath for a count of 4.

  4. Then gently exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.

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

The count can be changed to what works best for you in the moment.

4-7-8 Breathing Technique:

Mindful breathing exercises have been shown to have many benefits for stress reduction and relaxation. The 4-7-8 breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He refers to it as a "natural tranquilizer for the nervous system".

Only do it for four cycles in a row in the beginning. After you get used to it, you can work up to eight cycles. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight.

  2. Place your tongue against the back of your top teeth and try to keep it there.

  3. Exhale completely through your mouth around your tongue, making a whoosh sound. Purse your lips if it helps.

  4. Close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four.

  5. Hold your breath for a count of seven.

  6. Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight.

  7. This completes one cycle. Repeat for three more cycles.

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