Take a deep breath… hold it… breathe out… now wait a sec before breathing in again. Bookmark QuietKit’s box breathing for a follow-along animation to help you do this any time you need it.
Photo: Best Running
The technique, pausing for four seconds in each step of the process, is the core of the combat tactical breathing that Navy SEALs use to calm their nerves, but it’s also a handy way to relax in everyday life.
Mindful breathing is a type of meditation, often recommended because it’s so simple but contains the basics: It gives you something to focus on, and it takes up just enough space in your brain that you’re not focusing on your other worries or problems. Breathing slowly also helps to bring down your heart rate, which can counteract the hyperventilation and heart pounding that often happen during anxiety attacks or just ordinary nervousness.