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  • Writer's pictureDmitri Konash

Box Breathing: A Simple Technique to Lower Blood Pressure

Updated: May 31, 2023

Box breathing is a simple calming technique that can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Learn how to do it with this guide!

Box Breathing: A Simple Technique to Lower Blood Pressure

Looking for a natural way to lower your blood pressure and reduce stress, box breathing may be just what you need. This simple technique involves taking slow, deep breaths in a specific pattern, and it can be done anywhere, anytime. In this guide, we'll show you how to do box breathing and explain how it can benefit your health.

What is box breathing?

Box breathing is also known as square breathing or four-square breathing. The technique involves inhaling for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and holding the breath for a count of four. Then the cycle repeats. This pattern creates a square shape, hence the name "box breathing."

The benefits of box breathing for lowering blood pressure and reducing stress.

Box breathing has been shown to have numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. One of the most significant benefits is its ability to lower blood pressure.

Slow and deep breathing triggers the body’s natural relaxation response by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing anxiety and heart rate, reducing blood pressure. In plain language it means that if we slow our breathing this will trigger our central nervous system to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure [1].

By slowing down the breath and focusing on deep, controlled breathing, box breathing can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation, which in turn can lower blood pressure. Additionally, box breathing has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and enhance overall feelings of well-being. No wonder they teach box breathing to the Navy Seals!

It has been scientifically proven [2] that this breathing technique works and one can objectively observe their effect, i.e. by measuring blood pressure before and after the exercise.

How to do box breathing step-by-step.

To start, find a comfortable seated position and follow these steps:

1. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for a count of four.

2. Hold your breath for a count of four.

3. Exhale slowly and completely through your mouth for a count of four.

4. Hold your breath for a count of four.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 for several minutes, focusing on the sensation of your breath and the rhythm of the counts.

Focus on the sensation of your breath as you inhale and exhale. With practice, box breathing can become a powerful tool for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

Tips for incorporating box breathing into your daily routine.

One way to make it a habit is to set aside a few minutes at the same time each day to practice, such as before bed or during a lunch break at work. You can also try incorporating box breathing into other activities, i.e. during your commute.

Please check my YouTube channel for a follow along box breathing exercises to lower blood pressure and for other tips to lower anxiety and blood pressure with yoga, meditation, and calming music.

Other relaxation techniques to try in conjunction with box breathing.

While box breathing is a great technique to help reduce stress and lower blood pressure, there are other relaxation techniques that can be used in conjunction with it for even greater benefits. These include meditation, stretching, calming music and more. Our blood pressure app BreathNow includes different breathing exercises and other calming techniques to help you lower anxiety, blood pressure and stress.

BreathNow app is the best place to learn box breathing to lower blood pressure

BreathNow app includes also a stress monitor which will help you objectively select a calming activity which works best for you. Give it a try, most of the functions are free. Would love to learn how BreathNow helped you to lower anxiety and high blood pressure.



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