Deep Breathing Exercise for Relaxation


Breathing is a great way to help combat the body’s response to stress and help bring us to a state of calm.  It can energize us and refocus us. Check out more benefits of deep breathing here.

Here is a simple breathing exercise. This technique is called Square Breathing or Box Breathing. To get the most out of it, find a chair in a quiet, calm space. Sit up straight, place your feet on the floor, close your eyes and begin. While this is the ideal setup, know that you can do this breathing exercise anywhere and still benefit from it.

Square Breathing Exercise

  1. Breathe in for a count of four. If you are comfortable with it, breath in only through your nose.  If nasal breathing is a challenge for you, just breath through your mouth. Make sure you are utilizing your whole diaphragm, inhale all the way down in your belly up through to the top of your lungs.

  2. Hold for a count of four and allow the air to fill your lungs and belly. This is not a hold that should make you feel blue in the face, think of it as a pause to let the air expand inside.

  3. Exhale for a count of four. Exhale out your mouth if you are comfortable with it. Squeeze all the air out of your belly and lungs.

  4. Hold the exhale for a count of four. Again, think of it as a pause.

  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for a few minutes to help you relax, feel calm, and refreshed.


As you get the technique down, feel free to add a mantra to the breathing.  For example, as you inhale you can say, “All is well.” When you exhale you can say, “I release any stress or tension I am carrying.”

Practice deep breathing often.  When you do find yourself in a stressful situation, it will be easier to remember to use deep breathing if you have been practicing it already. By taking deep breathes when you are stressed, you help combat the body’s natural response to stress and avoid triggering toxic stress hormones that wreak havoc on your health and well-being.

Related: 3 Benefits of Deep Breathing    

Deep breathing just not cutting it? If you are in the Twin Cities, call 651.605.6022 today for a free consultation or fill out the form here to get in touch with a counselor.