15 minutes or less

Need help managing stressful situations?

Square breathing is a technique that can help you manage stress and stay focused.

A close-up photo of four rocks, stacked on top of one another.


If you are looking for strategies to regulate your mood during stressful situations, square breathing (or box breathing) is a great tool to have in your toolkit. 

This exercise helps you to intentionally control your breathing and focus your mind on one thing at a time. This can be done anytime with your eyes opened or closed, or from a seated or standing position.


  • Pen and paper (optional)


  1. Draw a square on a sheet of paper or visualize a square in your mind.
  2. Following along the 4 sides of the square, following the breathing pattern below
    • Inhale for 4 seconds
    • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
    • Exhale for 4 seconds
    • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  3. As you breathe, trace along the sides of the square with your finger on the paper, or with your mind. Aim for a consistent and steady pace.
  4. Repeat the square breathing pattern as many times as you need