Santa Clara University


Square Breathing (Deep Breathing)

Deep breathing regulates the physiological fight/flight response that we experience when we are stressed.

Deep breathing is an exercise that is always available – you can take it with you anytime, anywhere.

Square breathing is a deep breathing technique. The diagram below illustrates the breath cycle. Try to make inhales and exhales last for the full count, instead of ending before the count is over. If you start to feel dizzy or faint, reduce the count but follow the same pattern. Attempt to breathe into your belly, not your chest, for maximum benefit. For example, try putting your hand over your belly when you breathe, and feel it rise when you inhale and fall as you exhale.



You can play the audio for this exercise below.

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This program was designed in 2013 by Santa Clara University Counseling & Psychological Services. To use any material from this site, you must seek permission from the Cowell Center Director.