Box Breathing


Box Breathing is a simple yet powerful technique for down-regulating stress and improving focus. Known as the breathing technique used by NavySEALs, commander Mark Divine, creator of the SEALFIT fitness program, has been using it since 1987 as a critical piece of his daily routine.

The great thing is, you can use this technique anytime you’re in a stressful situation, during a meeting, while you’re driving or waiting in line. Instead of ramping up your stress level, shift to Box Breathing and build your mental fitness muscles instead.


  • Calms the mind
  • Downregulates the nervous system
  • Improves focus
  • Oxygenates the body
  • Builds concentration

The Exercise

  • Find a comfortable seat, either crossed-legged on the floor, hips slightly elevated or in a chair, feet on the floor.
  • Straighten your spine, pull your shoulders back and down.
  • Gently close your eyes or relax your gaze and soften your jaw.
  • Exhale to begin, then focus on your breath as you breathe in through your nose for a slow count of 4. Keep your awareness on your breath as you feel it travel down to the base of your lungs for a full belly breath.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 4 seconds.
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds.
  • Hold for another count of 4 on the exhale or go straight into another round of 4 count breathing cycles, holding only on the inhale.
  • See if you can soften your belly and deepen your breath with each inhalation.
  • Repeat the breathing cycle for as long as you need to until calm returns.

Recommended practice: As frequently as necessary to down-regulate a stress response. Include up to 10 rounds as part of your daily practice.

Leave a Comment


Breathe into Breakthrough logo

Free 3 Day Workshop

10 minutes a day to build the foundation for lasting habit change

Available Now On Demand!

About Elizabeth

I’m Elizabeth Borelli, breathe into breakthrough success coach and author. By combining my years of coaching experience, a BA in psychology, multiple certifications in ICF-accredited life coaching, plant-based nutrition, and RYT 200 yoga teacher training, I’ve developed a unique mind-body approach to personal growth and professional success.