How To Use Square Breathing to Clear Your Racing Mind...

We tend to make better decisions when we're calm.
If your mind is racing, you can't sleep or if you just need a way to relax and get centered, pause whatever it is you are doing and learn about Square Breathing.

Square breathing is a powerful exercise that divides your breath into four equal parts: inhalation, holding the breath, exhalation, and then waiting without breathing. If you have high blood pressure, please check with your doctor before performing this exercise.

This exercise is one of the most powerful breathing exercises I've experienced. It is my daily go to exercise for quickly and deeply relaxing my entire system. I personally do this one nightly as preparation for deep sleep.  

To perform this exercise you will do each of the four parts inhale hold, exhale, and wait for four seconds each. It bears repeating that if you feel dizzy to stop the exercise and breathe normally. This exercise is not meant as a competition to see who can endure the longest. Typically you will begin feeling the effect of this exercise after two or three cycles.

  1. Inhale to a count of four seconds

  2. Hold your breath for four seconds

  3. Exhale for four seconds

  4. Wait without breathing for four seconds

  5. Repeat as long as it feels comfortable to do so

Over time, as you build your lung capacity, you can experiment with increasing the number of seconds on each of the four sides of the breath. To do this, start by having one second on each of the four parts and then see how it feels. Everyone has their own comfort level and lung capacity. It is important to not overextend to the point of discomfort as you can cause yourself to pass out and risk injury.

You might consider this particular exercise to be one that you can lean into when you are experiencing the toughest of times like personal crisis, pre-and post surgery or any high intensity situation.

Breath is life. It is your built in regulator for how you experience the moment you are in. Anytime you feel out of balance, stressed out, or unclear, your body is giving you the signal to begin adjusting your breath. It is up to you whether you pay attention to the signals or not. By being a self-aware, and willing to adjust how you feel with an exercise like breathing, you no longer need to endure needless suffering. Taking care of yourself in this way gives you the power to act preemptively and deliberately so that you can be in the best state of mind to enjoy the moment you are in.

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