Square breathing is a simple and powerful technique for balancing and calming the mind, as well as for oxygenating the body and improving respiratory muscles.
This technique is used by MARINES to stay calm and concentrated in the most stressful conditions possible (imagine bullets flying over your head).
You will probably never be subjected to that amount of stress, but square breathing works perfectly when work or study becomes more difficult.
It takes only a few seconds to figure it out, one minute of practice and you’ll see that you’ll feel relaxed and focused again.
Here’s how it works:
Inhale deeply through the nose (concentrate on breathing by filling the stomach and not the chest).
Now exhale completely, letting all the air out of your body escape.
– Repeat two more times for a total of 3 breaths.
Inhale deeply through the nose for 4 seconds. Next, hold this breath for another 4 seconds.
Exhale for 4 seconds until the air comes out of the lungs completely. Hold the expiration for another 4 seconds.
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 need to stop and breathe more, reduce the time of each phase.
But remember, the 4 phases must always be the same; if one is different, there is no longer a square.
The square is the symbol of equilibrium (4 sides and 4 identical angles).
Why breathe with your nose and not your mouth?
1- Breathing through the nose increases the levels of nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide expands blood vessels, increases circulation and lowers blood pressure.
2- Exhale by emitting a buzz increases the levels of nitric oxide in the blood.
If you want to improve the feeling of concentration and calm, add a buzz as you exhale.
A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has shown that the buzz greatly increases the level of nitric oxide in the blood.
The key word of this technique is equilibrium as we said before talking about the square. Equilibrium of the nervous system, the balance of mind, calm and peace, in addition to the function of oxygenating the blood and improving concentration.
By mentally counting the times, in addition to matching the phases of the breath, we are working on the concentration of the mind: if we get distracted, we lose the thread and break the square.
Practice it for a few minutes, two or three times a week.
Start with simple square breathing and increase as your skills grow.
You will see how this simple technique will improve your performance.