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Stressed out? Try box breathing…

Stressed out? Try box breathing…

Box breathing for stress relief
Box breathing for stress relief

Box Breathing is a simple way to calm down quickly during stressful situations.

When we take a deep breath, we often raise our shoulders and try to inhale deeply through our lungs. However the most restorative breathing — the kind that lowers stress levels, engages the restful nervous system, improves digestion, and decreases anxiety — occurs with deep belly breaths.

What is Box Breathing?

Box breathing is a technique that’s quick and easy. There’s a bonus too… You can do it anytime, anywhere and no one will even know.

By expanding the belly with a deep breath, you engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the “rest and digest” nervous system of our body. When we breathe normally throughout the day we are often in the sympathetic nervous system, which is our ‘fight or flight’ nervous system.

This three minute exercise engages the restful nervous system. Try box breathing for 3 minutes, twice daily during calm moments. Eventually you’ll remember to practice box breathing during stressful moments as well.

  1. Inhale through nose for 4 counts, expanding belly.
  2. Hold for 4 counts.
  3. Exhale for 4 counts bringing belly to spine.
  4. Hold for 4 counts.

End the exercise with a genuine grateful thought. This can be anything you are grateful for that day… your pet, your family, a good night’s sleep…

Box Breathing from Dr. K Kaufman
Benefits of ‘Belly’ Breathing
  • lowers stress levels
  • engages the restful nervous system
  • improves digestion
  • decreases anxiety

Dr. Kaufman specializes in integrative and functional medicine — a personalized, patient-centered approach to treatment that looks at the underlying causes of symptoms. Dr. Kaufman helps patients transform their health by evaluating a combination of factors: stress, nutrition, exercise, sleep, genetics and hormone imbalances.

Learn more about services offered at Kaufman Health and Hormone Center.

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Karen Kaufman MD, conventional and functional medicine specialist, aesthetics, supplements, hormone therapy