A 2-Minute Technique To Instantly De-Stress And Calm Nerves

We live in such a fast paced world these days, that stress has almost become the norm.  How often do you feel overworked, overwhelmed, nervous, anxious, or stressed?  I’m pretty sure that just about everyone has experienced these low vibrational and energy depleting feelings at some point or another… Some of us much more than others!

And I think we’ve all heard by now how terrible stress really is on our bodies… Whether the stress is caused by a traffic jam, a deadline, bills to pay, financial woes, or any other reason, your body actually responds in the exact same way it would in a life or death type situation! So if stress is a frequent visitor in your life, your body is perpetually experiencing the ‘fight or flight’ response… And it becomes increasingly difficult to turn this off and actually relax!

It is absolutely imperative that we all take the time to de-stress and let go of all of the worries, concerns, and responsibilities that we face day after day.  Without proper de-stressing and rejuvenation practices, we could seriously be putting ourselves at risk for sickness, disease, premature aging, and just an overall lack of health and well-being.  There are many many ways in which you can ‘take a load off’ and de-stress… But today I’d like to share one of my favorite techniques to calm nerves, get clarity of mind, relax the body, and increase energy… And it only takes 2 minutes to do!  I call it the ‘Square Deep Breathing Technique’.

Here are just a few of the instant benefits you’ll experience:

1.  A clear, focused mind

2.  Increased energy and vitality

3.  A decrease in ‘mind chatter’

4.  An increase of endorphins (The body’s natural painkiller and ‘happy’ chemical)

5.  Relaxed muscles

6.  Increased oxygen and blood flow and elimination of toxins

Go ahead and click play on the video below to get a demonstration of how this strategy works:

So, as I demonstrated in the video above, you want to start by testing the source of your breathing.  Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your diaphragm (right below the ribs) and take a deep breath. Which hand moves first?  If the hand on your chest moved first, that means you are a ‘chest’ breather and your breathing is much more shallow and constricted.  Shallow breathing is a byproduct of stress and can lead to a lack of oxygenated blood and even diminished mental ability.  If the hand on your diaphragm moved first, you are more of a natural deep breather and you can give yourself a big pat on the back right now! The goal is to take as many deep belly breaths as possible throughout the day.

Now, here’s how the Square Deep Breathing Technique works…

Step 1: Get centered, put both feet on the floor if you’re sitting down, and you may even want to close your eyes.

Step 2: Put one hand on your diaphragm (upper belly) to make sure that’s where you’re breathing from.  Inhale for 5 slow seconds, letting your breath start in the upper belly and move up towards the chest.

Step 3: Hold your breath for 5 seconds.

Step 4: Exhale slowly for 5 seconds.

Step 5: Hold your breath again for 5 seconds after all of the air has been expelled from your lungs.

Step 6: Repeat for 2 minutes.

As you can see in the video demonstration, you are creating a ‘square’ with your breath.  I use this technique before any big speech or presentation and if I’m ever feeling emotional, stressed, or worried… And trust me, it works like a charm!  I’d love to hear how you like to de-stress, so leave a comment down below with your favorite technique (I have to admit I’m also a big fan of bubble baths after a long stressful day)

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave June 5, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Thank you Katie! Great presentation on your “Square Breathing”, and it really works!

Your Friend,
Dave

P.S. I tweeted it as well of course. :-)

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Fathi Ridwan Basalamah June 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I wish i am there with you Katie…..anyway thank you very much and i think after this breathing exercise we do Savasana posture of Yoga, the result will be maximize.

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James Still June 5, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Your a fantastic Communicator and mentor. Thanks for the tip,and I wish you the best in your new home.

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Shaylee June 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Hi Katie,

Thanks for the great post! I agree that using breathing techniques is really powerful.

My favorite way to de-stress is listening to a few tracks I found on project playlist.

One encourages you to think about what you are grateful for. I listen to this one every day. It’s called Heart Meditation by Deepak Chopra:

http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#heart%20meditation

Another one that helps you focus on breathing from head to toe and is called the Body Scan Meditation. You focus on breathing through your entire body for 30min. The best part is you can do it while laying in bed! I try to do this 2-3 times a week.

http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#body%20scan%20meditation

I hope this helps you and your readers de-stress in stressful times.

~Shaylee

Shaylee’s last blog post..Shaylee Gregg Meets Matt Cutts and Rand Fishkin

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J.B. Washburn June 5, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Great stuff, Katie – thanks for the email.

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Lisa June 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Hi Katie,
It’s great to hear you share the importance of breathing. So many of us don’t know how to do this properly for our health. Oxygen coming into our bodies is what helps us fight so many diseases and unfortunately we are not getting enough. I love your technique, it is so simple to do anywhere. I also use something called a Chi Machine that is helping me bring in oxygen everyday to help me prevent illnesses and keep me healthy. I have to share this with you because it was shared with me. I have found so many people being helped by this machine I can’t keep the secret. If anyone wants more info, just let me know.
Katie, please keep up the wonderful sharing of all your wealth and wisdom, it is greatly appreciated. I love following you!
Thanks, Lisa

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Lukas Rethke June 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Hey Katie,

I did the breathing exercise for a minute or more as I was watching the video. It works great ~ Thank You. A few of the ways I like to de-stress are:

1. Doing something about what is stressing you out. For example if your house is dirty and that stresses you out, CLEAN IT!!

2. Exercise

3. Soak for 20-30 minutes in a hot bath with 1 cup epsom salt and 1 cup baking soda and 20 drops of Lavender oil. The salt and baking soda help to draw out toxins and the Lavender is very calming.

Luke

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Caleb Jennings June 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I LOVE deep breathing techniques, I just need to be reminded to use them more often lol…My absolute best way to seriously de-stress my life is…Jumping out of a plane! No joke-Skydiving shifts my state so extremely that no matter what is going on, it pales in comparison to having just lived after hurling yourself out of a plane at 15,000ft ;-) Here’s the kicker, when I dive, I actually use specific breathing techniques!

Caleb Jennings’s last blog post..Under Construction…

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Rodney Jansen June 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Good Morning everyone! Thanks Katie for the tip on relaxing. I tend to me a type “A” so this should really help me. Enjoy your new home!

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Suzanne Thomas June 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Thanks for that post. You’re awesome! I got really stressed earlier in the week and would have greatly benefited from square breathing. My favorite methods of de-stressing are currently going for a run with my dog and playing in the garden. I all so enjoy simply laying in the sun and relaxing.

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Naomi June 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Hi Katie thanks for the destress breathing video,i’m sure I will use it a lot. I use the release technique to gry rid of stress,just a visilize a tube in your stomach and just let all of those negative feeling & emotions flow up and out through that tube. It works very well to releive different emotions. thanks again for sharing Naomi

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Lark Logan June 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Great advice, Katie: I learned this technique when my husband was obtaining his black belt in Tae Kwan Do from Master Y.K. Kim. Master Kim really preached proper breathing technique, and you are spot on with your advice. The technique and philosophy behind what you explained is exactly as Master Kim taught my husband, who in turn taught me. It works. I am very Type A, and this breathing method is incredibly calming. Thanks for posting the video. I’m sure many will find it beneficial.

Best,
Lark Logan

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Quinn Coats June 5, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Thanks Katie. I’ll add this to my “10 second rule”. Whenever I get frustrated, or stressed, especially with my 4 year old, I always STOP and count to 10 before addressing the source of the frustration. I just realized that when I’m doing this, I’m not breathing. I will add your Square Deep Breathing to the end of my 10 seconds and in 2 minutes and 10 seconds, I’ll be straight. :)

Quinn

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George Prince June 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Thank you for the video and I am subscribed to your Youtube channel. I also follow you on the various social mediums. If you haven’t seen my website yet I am a soldier in the army. I am surrounded by persons of all kinds of stress. The army is one big stress pot. However, I haven’t experienced that yet. As a note I do breath from the belly, not the chest first. Your video I am sure has come just in time because EVERYONE is under stress, especially due to the financial crises. I love to listen to classical music which is very enjoyable. The rock, the high tempo bands and drums, drives me away. Classical music is all that I listen to, specially Mozart, Boch, Chopin, and other early European era composers. Feel free to drop by, I am continually updating my blog at http://www.princefamily33.com

George Prince’s last blog post..Women of World War II

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Esther Braden June 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Thank you Katie,
you´re not only a great Entrepreneur Lady you´re also a great Yogini! I practiced a lot of Pranayamas the last years and found out that the simple ones (which can be practiced nearly even in the supermarket) are the best ones for me and my grounding. This is what happens for me while using the Square Deep Breathing, my grounding is coming back and i can go “to normal”.

Esther

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Angela Bettess June 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Hi Katie

Thanks for sharing this technique with us. I also do deep breathing, when I remember.

If I am a bit stressed or anxious, I like to go and relax in the sun and I also like to go for a walk in nature. It takes my attention from what was bothering me and makes me appreciate the abundance of the universe instead.

Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend :)

Angela

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Damayanthi June 6, 2009 at 3:10 am

Hi Katie
Enjoyed this video so much. As a buddhist I am introduced to lot of meditation techneques & one of them is breathing. We really don’t think how simple and easy it is to do.

You have explained it very well & I believe if we make it a point to do it periodically throughout the day we feel so much de-stressed and better.

You are an inspiration.

Damayanthi

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Curt Miller June 6, 2009 at 7:11 am

i have asthma so breathing means a whole lot to me… and you have given me a way to determine if am breathing correctly… and you are hot too… but I kept my focus!!! ;-)

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Ivelina June 6, 2009 at 11:35 am

Thank you Katie,
I enjoyed your video as always.You have this amazing energy and light,that is very inspiring.
Deep breathing is something new to me as I started yoga about a month ago,but I find it one of the best ways to relax and de-stress.

Thanx,again.
Ivelina

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Phil Jackson June 6, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Katie,
This post is absolutely on target. I tried your Square Deep Breathing Technique and it works great. I find that it helps to center and calm myself every day after I sit down to work.

Sure appreciate the new technique.
Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson’s last blog post..Three Business Partners You Need

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John Chatman June 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Katie,
You hit the target with this technique. If a person were to combine this technique with a daily dose of meditation even as little as 8-10 minutes their productivity would greatly increase.

To Success,

John

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Michael Cloke June 6, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Hey katie -

Abdominal Breathing Technique

Breathing exercises such as this one should be done twice a day or whenever you find your mind dwelling on upsetting thoughts or when you are experiencing pain.

Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. When you take a deep breath in, the hand on the abdomen should rise higher than the one on the chest. This insures that the diaphragm is pulling air into the bases of the lungs.

After exhaling through the mouth, take a slow deep breath in through your nose imagining that you are sucking in all the air in the room and hold it for a count of 7 (or as long as you are able, not exceeding 7)

Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. As all the air is released with relaxation, gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely evacuate the remaining air from the lungs. It is important to remember that we deepen respirations not by inhaling more air but through completely exhaling it.

Repeat the cycle four more times for a total of 5 deep breaths and try to breathe at a rate of one breath every 10 seconds or (6 breaths per minute). At this rate our heart rate variability increases which has a positive effect on cardiac health.

Once you feel comfortable with the above technique, you may want to incorporate words that can enhance the exercise.

Examples would be to say to yourself the word, relaxation (with inhalation) and stress or anger (with exhalation). The idea being to bring in the feeling/emotion you want with inhalation and release those you don’t want with exhalation.

In general, exhalation should be twice as long as inhalation. The use of the hands on the chest and abdomen are only needed to help you train your breathing. Once you feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen, they are no longer needed.

Abdominal breathing is just one of many breathing exercises. But it is the most important one to learn before exploring other techniques. The more it is practiced, the more natural it will become improving the body’s internal rhythm.

Many thanks

Michael.

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JP King June 7, 2009 at 4:36 am

Right On Katie!

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JD June 8, 2009 at 9:37 am

All the money we make means nothing if you drop dead of stress or depression. thanks for your breathing information but SEX always works for me girl :) LOL

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Galit Aronson June 9, 2009 at 2:03 am

Thank you for sharing wonderful things. I really like hearing you. This one really worked right a way! I’ll bless you for it every time I’ll use it.
Good-luck with your new location.
Your friend Galit

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Maureen June 13, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Hi Katie,
This is a great breathing technique. I do Bikram Yoga, so
I”m used to 6 seconds in, hold for 3 seconds and then 6 seconds out. It’s different when you hold your breath for 5 seconds after you breath out as well.

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MaryAnn Russell June 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Thanks Katie what a great demo on the square breathing. Each breath gets deeper and more fluid. The way I de-stress is to consciously breath and become the “Observer”.

Thank you again,

MaryAnn

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Marino Flovent June 14, 2009 at 2:52 am

Thanks Katie what a great demo on the square breathing.
You are a true mentor and a grate trainer

Tahnk’s again
Marino Flovent
[rq=10176,0,blog][/rq]Personal Branding

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Millus June 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Well, my own De-Stress technique needs more than 2 minutes.
:)

Interessting blog and website. I will keep an eye on it.

Take Care and wish you good sucess.
M
[rq=18758,0,blog][/rq]PSS CHORUS Just Dance – Lady Gaga Video

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Stress Personalities dot com June 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Thanks for a great blog! Checkout my site if you like. Really a nice design and content you got here…

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Ethan Lanagan July 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Good Stuff. Seems most people trying to make it to the top in Network Marketing need to calm down at times! haha.
.-= Ethan Lanagan´s last blog ..The Next Trillion Dollar Giant is Now Launching! =-.

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Varsha Solanki July 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm

This technique is simple and effective! Thank you!
.-= Varsha Solanki´s last blog ..Introduction to Spirituality and Health =-.

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Nick August 10, 2009 at 10:33 am

Hey Katie, Great Advice. I was also reading your post on the two week cleanse. How did that go? Any words of advice? Sounds like something I would like to try…
.-= Nick´s last blog ..Share Your Favorite Quotes =-.

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Alex Lim August 28, 2009 at 4:40 am

Thanks for bringing this up Katie, this reminds people how important deep breathing is not only as a de-stressing method but also on our daily lives. Deep breathing is the most basic yet a very important way to keep your body healthy. This ensures that quality amount of oxygen is entering our body which is really essential. You can also try purse lip breathing for 5 seconds instead of holding your breath. Aside from breathing, you might also consider the effects of colors in reducing stress, pink and green specifically. Just look at things with these colors and feel an instant effect. ss
.-= Alex Lim´s last blog ..Tony Robbins, Frank Kern, And John Reese Interview =-.

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kana September 16, 2009 at 8:00 am

Great info, I was stressed so much every morning w/ a 3 yr old and a 11months baby. On top of that night shift working father. My house is a mess. Every morning, I tell myself that next morning I will do better by packing lunch the previous nights. But, when the evening comes… by 9pm I am tired again. I just keep excusing myself again for the past 1 yr or so.
I liked this method. Hope I will become more efficient mom.

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Shannon Tecson March 11, 2010 at 1:19 am

Great Post Katie, I believe you are good with me reposting this to my facebook profile.:) I feel my friends would love a quick lesson on de-stressing through breathing.

Thanks!
.-= Shannon Tecson´s last blog ..A Lesson Taken From The Movie "Alive" =-.

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Steve Irving May 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Fantastic Video, Katie.

As I used to say in the healthcare industry–AIR IS GOOD.

It’s great for nausea, stress, headaches–imagine that–Oxygen!

Looking forward to hearing and seeing more.

Rock On.

PS: I haven’t heard much about GW as of late. How is the company rockin these days?
.-= Steve Irving´s last blog ..Promotions Articles | How to Add Backlinks =-.

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Chuck Bluestein May 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Stress is a terrible thing and with it, you can never be happy. It is also optional. It is not a necessity. Eckhart Tolle says:

“Most people find it difficult to believe that a state of consciousness totally free of all negativity is possible. And yet this is the liberated state to which all spiritual teachings point. It is the promise of salvation, not in an illusory future but right here and now. You may find it hard to recognize that time [perception] is the cause of your suffering or your problems….
Ultimately, there is only one problem: the time-bound mind itself.

Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry– all forms of fear– are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
.-= Chuck Bluestein´s last blog ..Arlen Specter =-.

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Sukie Baxter May 26, 2010 at 4:42 am

Stress is the silent killer in our lives. It literally causes obesity, depression, unravels our chromosomes, weakens our immune systems, and shortens our lives. I think I may need to do a blog post about this. So much inspiration here! :-)
.-= Sukie Baxter´s last blog ..Rolfing is NOT Torture =-.

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Francesco May 31, 2010 at 1:58 am

Just reading the benefits’ list makes you feel better, doesn’it?
Love this technique, love the “holding” part, Thank you for sharing Katie!
.-= Francesco´s last blog ..Picture yourself in the future and share what you’ll love to do! =-.

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Francesco June 1, 2010 at 2:33 am

Just want you to know that I’m really PRACTICING this. It’s an amazing technique because it’ impossible to count from 1 to 5 and follow mind’s chatter at the same time. This technique is really gonna make the difference in my REAL Life.
I’m so glad to have found you and this post!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
.-= Francesco´s last blog ..What would you do if Today was your Last Day? =-.

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Jennifer May July 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Hey Katie! I loved that you shared this technique. I personally do a deep breathing cleanse every time I start feeling stress inside. It is my source and savior to really refocusing and allowing the stress to fall away. I like how in depth this technique is, truly proves how important our breathing is to our lives and health.

Stress is definitely something that can allow sickness, sadness and overall unhappiness into our lives. It is up to us to choose to relieve that stress and let go of what is allowing it there in the first place. Stress is only as powerful as we allow it to be!

Another thing I do when I feel stress is take a step away, back and alone from anyone or anything. I take five minutes (or more if I need it) to meditate and truly find my inner peace again!

Great stuff Katie!!! Thank you!
.-= Jennifer May´s last blog ..The Importance Of Branding YOU Around Your PASSIONS =-.

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Luis September 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Hi Katie,

Thanks for sharing with us.
Luis´s last blog post ..Phentermine Adipex Side Effects

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Elmar Sandyck September 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

This is an amazing breathing exercise, Katie! Thanks for sharing it with us. Sometimes, it’s the really simple exercises that can re-energize us from a stressful day!
Elmar Sandyck´s last blog post ..Writing Effective Sales Copy- 4 Tips To Really Sell

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Carlos M. October 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Hi Katie,

This is a great technique. Thanks for sharing with us.
Carlos M.´s last blog post ..Lady Gaga Wishes A Fairytale Marriage

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martin slattery January 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

i study meditation,, this is my main coping mechanism for stress!! ive learned some great techniques and i am calm most of the time!! share the knowlege,, success is an attitude not a destination!!!
martin slattery´s last blog post ..Aspiring Minds URGENT message!!

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free samples products March 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm

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