Relieve Stress with Box Breathing

Shared by Dr. Tanner Tunskey

Relieve Stress with Box Breathing

Box breathing, a technique rooted in ancient practices, offers modern-day individuals a powerful tool for stress management. Consisting of a simple pattern of inhaling, holding, exhaling, and holding again, box breathing provides a structured approach to regulating the body’s autonomic nervous system. By engaging in this rhythmic breathing pattern, individuals can induce a relaxation response, thereby reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body. This technique not only calms the mind but also enhances focus and clarity, making it particularly beneficial for individuals facing high-pressure situations in both personal and professional spheres.

Moreover, the benefits of box breathing extend beyond immediate stress relief. Regular practice of this technique has been shown to improve overall resilience to stress over time. By training the body to respond calmly to stressors, individuals can build a greater sense of emotional stability and control in their lives. Furthermore, incorporating box breathing into daily routines fosters mindfulness and promotes a greater sense of well-being, ultimately empowering individuals to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease and composure. As a versatile and accessible tool, box breathing stands as a valuable asset in the pursuit of optimal mental health and stress management.

A great start to box breathing is 10 rounds of 4 second inhale, 4 second hold, 4 second exhale, 4 second hold and repeat.

“Using a mixed-effects model, we show that breathwork, especially the exhale-focused cyclic sighing, produces greater improvement in mood (p < 0.05) and reduction in respiratory rate (p < 0.05) compared with mindfulness meditation. Daily 5-min cyclic sighing has promise as an effective stress management exercise.”


Balban, M. Y., Neri, E., Kogon, M. M., Weed, L., Nouriani, B., Jo, B., Holl, G., Zeitzer, J. M., Spiegel, D., & Huberman, A. D. (2023). Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal. Cell reports. Medicine, 4(1), 100895.

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When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our St. Louis Park Chiropractors located in the West End, near the corner of MN-100 S & Lake Rd./Westside Dr., are here to teach you that taking care of your mental health and getting the proper nutrients are just as important as the chiropractic adjustment to stay healthy.