Featured Mental health

How to use your breath to calm feelings of stress or anxiety

In stressful times you can use the power of your breath to help calm feelings of stress or anxiety.

Box breathing is a simple relaxation technique that can help you ‘reset your breath’ and return it to its normal rhythm.

The video above demonstrates box breathing and highlights its benefits.

In short, it involves:

  • Imagining breathing around a box
  • Inhaling as you visualize going up one side of the box, pausing and then exhaling as you picture going down the other side of the box.

In moments of stress and anxiety, box breathing is an easy way to slow down and help calm your body and mind.

Many thanks to Dr. Joanna Mansfield, psychiatrist at Sunnybrook’s Women’s Mood and Anxiety Clinic, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Clinic for her expertise and voicing this box breathing video.

Video produced by Brent Creelman and Jennifer Palisoc in Communications & Stakeholder Relations at Sunnybrook.

View mental health resources from Sunnybrook's Department of Psychiatry