A Simple & Effective [Box] Breathing Exercise to Reduce Stress

We all feel stressful at times.

In fact, stress levels in our generation have skyrocketed compared to previous generations.

But in this post I won’t be talking about the reasons and what led to this situation… this topic requires an entire post, or in fact a whole book.

Instead, in this post I’ll give you one simple & extremely effective breathing exercise that has helped many people significantly reduce their stress levels (myself included). Introducing: Box breathing. 

What’s Box Breathing?

Don’t worry it doesn’t mean you’ll have to breathe into a box or anything weird like that.

Box breathing is a simple, yet very effective breathing exercise I first read in the book Unbeatable Mind (by Mark Divine), a fantastic book about forging resiliency & developing mental toughness.

It’s a straightforward process that can and help us reduce stress, increase our energy and start our mornings feeling more relaxed.

Ready? Let’s start breathing…

Box Breathing – Step by Step


Box Breathing

Preparation: Sit in a comfortable chair, bed or on the floor )as long as you have back support) with your legs crossed and your hands rested comfortably on your legs. Close your eyes and relax.

Recommended – Dim or turn off the lights to increase relaxation.

Step 1 – Start by exhaling all of the air from your lungs.

Step 2 – Inhale slowly to a count of five.

Step 3 – Hold your breath to a count of five.

Step 4 – Exhale to a count of five.

Step 5 – Hold the exhaled breath for a count of five.

Repeat this process for 5 times.


  • If you find it hard to relax, try repeating a mantra or a prayer (I sometimes say “mode ani…”)
  • If you feel like it, by all means repeat the cycle more than 5 times.
  • If you’re unable to find a private, secluded place and don’t feel comfortable closing your eyes in a public place, then do it with your eyes open… but DO IT!


Pretty simple right?

The key is to do it consistently every day, at least once a day (preferably more). I do this immediately after I wake up. It takes me less than 5 minutes and it helps me start my day feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Give it time, and after a few days you’ll start noticing a profound effect.

Did you try the box breathing technique? Let me know how it goes in the comments, I would love to hear about your experience.


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