There can't be a certain time for stress to hit you. But some of the obvious situations are when you're in a work meeting or dealing with financial issues. Some of the not-so-obvious ones include you getting in bed to sleep right after ending a super productive day or simply watching your favourite web series on Netflix.
Although, there's a method that can help you win a situation like this and conquer the feelings of uneasiness. This is also known as the box breathing or four-square breathing technique where square breathing can calm you down and let go of the tension. Christi-an Slomka, a mindful movement and meditation teacher and community manager at Calm says, "The breathwork technique soothes the nervous system and helps us to shift from a state of stress to a state of relaxation," thus lowering our stress levels."
You can actually do this any time you feel stressed, be it your desk, at a grocery store or on your bed.
Here's a step-by-step explanation:
Inhale: To begin with, you need to sit down with your spine straight, soften your gaze or just close your eyes. Now, inhale slowly through the nose and count to four. Make sure you're paying attention on the expansion of your chest and the sound of your breath.
Pause: Once you're at the top of your inhale, pause for four seconds. Think of it as resting your breath instead of holding it. Holding your breath will cause you tension and you'd want to try and release or exhale sooner.
Exhale: Now, slowly exhale and let go of all the air in your lungs for a count of four and keep your jaws relaxed.
Pause: You need to rest in between your inhalation and exhalation process for a count of four.
Repeat: You should keep going at it for a few more round.
If in case you need some extra help in relaxing your jaw, bring your lips to a slight smile, place your hand on your chest to feel your breath rise and fall. This will help you stay more present while you do this activity.
Slomka suggests, "When life gets stressful, there can be a bit of a snowball effect. Stress begets stress. And if we don't take some time every day to interrupt the 'snowball' from rolling, it gets bigger, faster, and harder to stop, leading to burning out or, to keep with the snowball analogy, crashing into a wall. Square breathing is one excellent way to create an intentional pause in your day."