Have Anxiety? Breathe Like a Navy SEAL

Square breathing anxiety

Navy SEALS endure some of the highest stress and anxiety-provoking situations imaginable. While our brains can trick us into thinking everyday situations are life and death, life and death situations are a reality for Navy SEALS.

Breathing Exercises

Navy SEALS use a simple breathing technique to help them through even the most stressful scenarios. Most of us aren’t SEALS but American’s still report being among the most stressed of any nation. Stress can be healthy, but when we experience a flight or fight response because we are stuck in traffic or have a difficult co-worker, that can lead to all kinds of health and wellness problems.

Breathing exercises found in many mental health apps and on the Internet can make a big difference and are available to you at any time. Diaphragmatic breathing where you are taking in deep breaths into and out of your belly while holding your breath in between can calm down the nervous system.

Box Breathing

One technique used by Navy SEALS is box breathing. Picture a square. As you take a breath for four seconds, imagine yourself journeying up one side of the square. Next, imagine traveling across the next side while holding your breath. Breathe in and out of your nose and keep your hand on your belly to feel the rise and fall. Keep repeating until you feel more relaxed. One to five minutes may be all that you need. If it works for one of the finest and elite forces in the world, it should work for most of us.

Stress and Anxiety Counseling Page