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The Navy SEALs used to stay calm and focused under the most stressful conditions with the help of the square breathing.
It is a simple and powerful technique to balance and calm the mind and to oxygenate the body and strengthen the respiratory muscles. If you don’t have a lot of stresses, the square breathing works perfectly when you work or study is winning the battle. It only takes a few seconds to understand; a minute of practice and see that you feel relaxed and focused again.
This is how you do it:
– Inhale deeply through your nose (concentrate on filling your stomach and not your chest.)
– Now exhale completely, letting all the air out of your body.
– Repeat twice for a total of 3 breaths.
Inhale deeply through your nose for 4 seconds. Then hold this breath for four seconds more.
Exhale for 4 seconds to completely out the air of your lungs. Hold your breath for four seconds further. It is very important to keep the same time for the 4 phases of breathing. If you see that at the end of a cycle, you feel the urge to stop and ample breathing, you can reduce the time in each phase. But remember, the 4 phases need to be always the same, if one is different, it will no longer be square. The square is the symbol of balance (4 sides and 4 equal angles.)
Some interesting facts about squire breathing:
1. Why your nose and not your mouth?
Breathing through the nose increases levels of nitrite oxide in your bloodstream. Nitrite oxide expands your blood vessels, increases your blood circulation and lowers your blood pressure – all good things.
2. Hum increases levels of nitrite oxide in your blood
If you want to enhance the sense of calmness and concentration, add a hum as you exhale. A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine showed that hummed noticeably increased the level of nitric oxide in body’s bloodstream.
The key to this technique is balance. Balance of mind, peace and calm nervous system helps you stay happy and healthy. The technique works on concentration of mind, because if we are distracted, we lose the thread and break the square.
Practice it a few minutes, two or three times a week; you’ll see how this simple technique makes you feel great.