A 5-minute breathing exercise to help you de-stress
Tuesday, 11 May · 2 min read

Feeling on edge? Maybe you’ve got a big work presentation coming up, or your mind won’t stop racing when you get into bed.

Deep breathing is one of the best ways to help lower the stress you’re feeling. By breathing deeply, you’re sending a message to your brain to relax, which calms your body. This lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and slows down your breathing, helping you to feel calmer.

So, why not give box breathing a go? This breathing technique is a simple way to clear your mind quickly, and you can do it anywhere – on the train or just before a meeting or bedtime.

Here’s how to master it:

  1. Close your eyes and visualise a box.

  2. Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds and imagine moving or drawing up the left side of the box.

  3. Hold your breath for 4 seconds and move along the top of the box.

  4. Let out all the air in your lungs for 4 seconds, moving down the right side of the box.

  5. Hold your breath for 4 seconds and move along the bottom of the box.

  6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for 5 minutes.

Quick Quiz
‘Fight or flight’ (also known as the body’s stress response) is when hormones are released in your body to prepare you for danger. True or false?