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Reduce Stress with 4-Square Breathing

4-Square Breathing is a great way to refocus thoughts and energy, reduce anxiety and reset breathing. When feeling overwhelmed, take a break, walk away, clear your mind and take control of anxiety.

How it works: Close your eyes and visualize a square. Exhale to clear the oxygen from your lungs. Begin by taking a slow, even breath in and counting to yourself – “1, 2, 3, 4”. Follow the top line of the square in your mind. When you get to the corner, hold your breath for “1, 2, 3, 4”, following the right line of the square in your mind. Continue this pattern with the bottom line (exhale) and left line (hold). Each 4 count equals one line. If you’re having a difficult time visualizing a square, picture yourself running the bases of a baseball diamond. When you hit a base, start the next 4 count.

1. Inhale for 1, 2, 3, 4. 2. Hold breath for 1, 2, 3, 4. 3. Exhale for 1, 2, 3, 4.

4. Hold breath for a count of

~ Repeat for 5 minutes or until you feel a decrease in anxiety.

Practice this exercise throughout your day as needed to reduce stress. 4-Square breathing can also enhance focus and concentration and improve performance. Try practicing it before your next big test or competition as well.

Rachel Wade

Founder/Fitness Coach

Focused Fitness

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