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Ep #160: Box Breathing Grounding Technique | Becoming You Again Podcast

Have you ever found yourself feeling anxious, stressed - even to the point of panicked during your divorce? If you answered yes, then this week's grounding exercise may be the perfect fit for you. I'm walking you through a grounding technique called Box Breathing.

You will first be introduced to what box breathing is, the science behind it and why it is so effective on helping you feel less anxious, less stressed and more connected to yourself, your body and the here and now.

If this grounding technique is resonant with you, add it to your tool box of help to heal and reconnect with yourself as you move through your divorce. The more somatic and grounding practices you have, the better off your healing process will be, taking you into your new, beautiful life after divorce.

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List to the full episode:

Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it shows up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.

Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.

Full Episode Transcript:

You're listening to Becoming you Again, episode number 160, and I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. All right, my friends, welcome back to the podcast.


Today I am giving you another one of those short episodes where I walk you through a grounding technique, and this is one that I haven't done before. It's actually a breathing technique and you may have heard of it. It is called box breathing, and I just want to give you like a little bit of an idea of what box breathing is, why it's important, why it can help you calm down de-stress, feel more present in your body, feel more present in the moment. Those are all great things. And then I'm just going to walk you through a very quick exercise of actual box breathing so that you can practice it and do it. It is recommended that you do it for up to five minutes, but you know me, I'm always like try it out and see how it works for you, and then you get to decide how long, how often, and if it actually does work for you to feel more grounded, feel more centered, feel more present in your body, present in the here and now, which, as we know because I've told you guys this so many times being present in the here and now is where actual healing happens. And we all know we need to heal from our divorce, right, because there's a lot of shit going on in there. There's a lot of shit that comes out after the divorce, about ourselves, about our partner, about the kind of person that we want to be, about our past, about all of the things. And we want to be able to heal from all of that and take care of ourselves and show up for ourselves in the ways that we truly, truly need. All right, so let's jump in.


So box breathing is just basically a type of diaphragmatic breathing, and if you don't know what that means, it just basically means that you're using your diaphragm to breathe, help you breathe in and out, uh, or deep breathing. This breathing method is typically used to help calm you and relax you. Now, obviously there's other methods of breathing that can help you be more alert, that can help you, you know, achieve different things. There's actually a really great book that you can check out If you're really interested. It's called I believe it's just called breathing. I I'll have to look it up and I can put it in the show notes, if I remember, because sometimes I forget to put things in show notes when I say I'm going to, so I apologize about that. But because sometimes I forget to put things in show notes when I say I'm going to, so I apologize about that, but I have it on my shelf. I just can't remember the title of it. But I do believe that it's actually called breathing and there's so many techniques and there's so much of the science around why breathing is so effective and important and useful and helpful to us in our daily lives.


But box breathing specifically is number one. It's very, it's a very, very simple technique and the reason why it's called box breathing is because you'll understand when I go through it. But you're basically just like using the image of a box in your brain to kind of walk you through the steps of box breathing. That's why it's called box breathing. You're not in a box or something, it's just you're using the image of a box to help you move through the moments of breathing in holding, breathing out holding, breathing in holding, breathing out holding. It's very simple. You can do it anywhere, anybody can do it, and the really great thing is they've done studies. Obviously, there's needs to be more research on the types of benefits to your body.


However, if you are feeling anxious, if you are feeling stressed which we all know are usually very high when we're going through a divorce right, our body feels like we're in danger. Our nervous system is heightened. In those states, we revert to the part of our brain that wants to go into fight or flight and we feel like we are confronting danger. Right, our brain is like we're confronting danger. Our heart rate increases, our blood pressure increases, our muscles tense, breathing becomes more shallow. You might even feel short of breath, depending on if your anxiety is turning into a panic attack or something like that. And so box breathing can help calm and center your nervous system, your stress response, that response that is kicking you into fight or flight, and it's going to help bring on a relaxation response. It's going to help re-regulate your nervous system, slow your heart rate, relax your muscles, re-stabilize your blood pressure, re-stabilize your breathing. That again is going to help you get back into the present moment.


So, like I said before, it is suggested that you do this five minutes a day five, but I don't necessarily think that you even have to do it for five minutes a day. It could literally just be one minute of box breathing, working through the breathing in the holding, the breathing out the holding, until you feel on that scale of one to 10, that your scale has maybe gone down a notch, a point, whatever it is, that you just feel a little bit better in your body, that you just feel a little bit better in your body, that you just feel a little more connected to yourself. That is what we're going for. We don't need to go from a 10 to a two with our box breathing. Maybe we just need to go from like a seven to a 6.5. That's good enough. I mean, if you did go from a 10 to two, that would be amazing. But we don't have to shoot for perfection here, right? We're just shooting for a little bit better, because sometimes that's what we're going to get and that's okay, all right.


So let's walk through an exercise of box breathing. What I want you to do is I want you to sit in a comfortable position. You can close your eyes if you want to, so that you can feel more centered in your body and centered on yourself. But if that feels uncomfortable and you start to get disoriented, just open your eyes, it's okay. You can also just have a soft gaze towards something. But you mostly just want to sit in a comfortable position. You can even lay down, I guess, if that feels comfortable to you, do what feels right for you in the moment.


Okay, now I want you to visualize a box with four sides. If you can or picture one in your head or trace, look at a picture frame on your wall that has four sides and use that as your guide. And with each step as I go through this, I'm going to walk you through it just a couple of times in a row. Imagine you are following or tracing with your finger one side of the box. We're going to start at the top corner and then work our way around the box until you return to the starting point, making that shape of a box. Okay, so for all of you who like to know what's going to happen. Let me walk you through it very quickly and then we'll actually do the exercise. So, following the top side of the box, you're going to breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of four I will do the counts for you when we do it and you're going to follow down one side of the box holding your breath for a count of four. Then you're going to follow along the bottom side and breathe out slowly for a count of four, releasing all of the air from your lungs, or as much as you can possibly get out, and then you're going to go up the other side of the box holding your breath for a count of four.


Now let me give you this little caveat here. If four seconds feels too long, you feel short of breath. You start to feel more anxiety as you're doing this. You start to get more nervous as you're doing this. You are just going to adjust your count. Go down to two, go down to one long one, right? You get to decide what feels right for your body, because it is your body and you are connected to it. You know what feels right, what feels resonant for you and your body. You just have to start paying attention and listening. So if four counts is too much, then just do two. Just do one long one, just do three. You don't have to do it exactly like this to continue to get the benefits of re-regulating your nervous system and bringing you into the here and now, which is the whole point of this. All right, so we are going to start. So get in your comfortable position, close your eyes you can even put your one hand on your chest, one hand on your stomach, just reconnecting yourself to your body. And picture that top corner of the box. And let's start. I'm going to do this through four times.


Go ahead and breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of one, two, three, four. Hold your breath following that box down the one side for a count of one, two, three, four. Follow the bottom side, breathing out slowly one, two, three, four, two, three, four and retracing up the other side, while holding your breath for one, two, three, four. And again slowly breathe in through your nose One, two, three, four. Hold one, 2, 3, 4. Breathe out slowly 1, 2, 3, 4. And hold 1, 2, 3, 4. Breathe in through your nose 1, 2, 3, 4. And hold 1, 2, three, four. And hold One, two, three, four. Breathe out slowly One, two, three, four and breathe in slowly One, two, three, four and hold One, two, three, four. Okay, so we've done that four times.


You choose if you want to continue doing it for longer, if you need to do it for less time. And again, remember, you get to decide what's right for you and your body. If four counts is too slow, too hard, you can't do it. You're scrabbling for your breath. Then you're just going to cut it down to what feels right in the moment. But remember, the goal is to re-regulate your nervous system, take you out of that fight or flight mode and get you more calm in your body, to feel more grounded in the present time. All right, my friends, that is what I have for you today.


Thank you for listening and I will talk to you next week. Hi, friend, I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life, with weekly coaching, real-life practice and practical guidance To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one. Go to KarinNelsononcoaching dot com. That's wwwkarinnelsoncoaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating. Wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married. Make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.




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