Anxiety riddles our society for many reasons. Some people have social anxiety, some people get panic attacks, some only get anxious when they have deadlines, and for some, it’s a constant feeling overpowering their ability to think and live. For some, it’s severe and for others it’s minor. Regardless if you have ever suffered a panic attack or not, these tips from Navy Seals will help calm your mind when you have things to accomplish and feel anxiety creeping in your mind.
These tips actually come to you from Mark Divine- a U.S. Navy SEAL and the founder of SEALFIT, a fitness organization for those who want to push themselves to the max. One of the biggest themes we’ve found when we research anxiety and meditation is breathing. So it’s no surprise that’s one of the main things Mark talks about in his article and tips. When you focus on your breathing you give all your thoughts to yourself. Are you breathing short and crisp or long deep thoughtful breaths? Can you change these short gasps into longer ones? How long will it take? How do you feel while you’re doing this
According to neuroscience, the state of being Divine describes is extremely valuable because it combines alertness with relaxation. Or, as Divine puts it, box breathing “has a neutral energetic effect: It’s not going to charge you up or put you into a sleepy relaxed state. But it will, as mentioned, make you very alert and grounded, ready for action.”
Here’s how you do it:
- Expel all the air from your chest, and keep your lungs empty for four long counts.
- Inhale through your nose for four long counts.
- Hold the air in your lungs for four long counts. (Mark adds: “When you hold your breath, do not clamp down and create back pressure. Rather, maintain an expansive, open feeling even though you are not inhaling.”)
- Exhale smoothly through your nose for four counts.
- That’s one “rep.” Mark recommends doing the practice for five minutes minimum to experience the benefits.
There’s no specific time for you to practice box breathing. He recommends to do it whenever you have time and to try and practice it for 10-20 minutes a day. This will help you master your thinking and become more alert. You can do it as you’re waking up; before you go to the gym, and even while you’re in line at the grocery store.
We know we’re going to start implementing this tip into our daily routine here at Apex Consulting Solutions! What about you?