In today’s post, I’m sharing a very simple one-minute meditation that you can do anywhere. This is especially helpful to use when you are in a stressful situation or if you simply need to take a quick relaxation break and don’t have a lot of time. You can do this at home, at work, on the train, on the plane…just about anywhere.
Box Breathing Technique
This technique is one that I learned when I was training to become a meditation teacher and it’s called “box breathing.”
I love this practice because you can do it for one minute or one hour. It helps calm your sympathetic nervous system (the one that gets activated when you’re stressed out or feeling anxious and prepares you for fight or flight) and allows you to activate your parasympathetic nervous system (the one that slows your heart rate and allows you to feel more relaxed, also knowns the “rest and digest” system).
This practice is super simple and it’s called box breathing because we visualize a box when we’re doing it.
Here’s how you do it: breathe in for four seconds, hold that breath for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and then pause for four more seconds before you inhale again.
To incorporate this into a 1-minute meditation practice, you simply do four boxes (or four full breaths). Technically that’s 64 seconds but hey, close enough, right?
And remember, you can do this practice just about anywhere. When I was working as an executive, I often did this practice before a big meeting or presentation because it helped get me centered and relaxed instead of walking into a conference room all nervous and fidgety.
You could do it in the morning before you start your day, on the train on your way to work, you can even do it while you’re stuck in traffic (but make sure that your primary focus is on the road and that you do NOT close your eyes).
Where do you think you might practice this technique? Let me know in the comments below.
Oh, and if you’re new to meditating, check out this post on how to start meditating for beginners and be sure to download the free PDF that summarizes the six simple steps.