Square breathing for stress relief

We feature one of our therapists in Kip’s newsletter every week.

Called Square Breathing, this is Dr. Christina Pascarzi’s go-to technique for calming down anxiety in the moment. In fact, she gives each of her clients a business card with the instructions on it.

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What it is: Square breathing

When to use it: Anytime that you feel anxious. It takes as little as one minute and can be done anywhere.

How long does it take: One minute works but you’ll get more out of the exercise if you do it for 5–10 minutes.

How it works: Begin by paying attention to your breath. Breathe in to the count of four, hold the breath in for the count of four, breathe out for the count of four, and then pause for the count of four. Repeat the process however many times you want. When your mind wanders (which is normal) you just bring your attention back to counting your breath.

Why it works: The exercise helps to slow down your breathing, which communicates to your anxious body that everything is okay.

Christina sees Kip clients in Oakland on Thursdays.