Mastering Stress: A Guide for Leaders

April 2, 2024

The Value of Box Breathing

Stress is a natural part of our lives, serving as a driving force that keeps us motivated and accountable. It pushes us to achieve our goals and meet our responsibilities. Yet, like most things, too much of it can be detrimental, affecting our well-being and clouding our judgment. For leaders, maintaining a balance and managing stress effectively is crucial to making informed decisions from a place of calm and clarity.

The Power of Breathing and Mindfulness

One of the simplest and most effective ways to manage stress is through breathing and mindfulness techniques. These practices can help lower stress levels, calm our bodies, and restore our focus. In this brief 3-minute coaching session with Jodi Bush, we’ll delve into a powerful technique that has been adopted by Navy Seals – the Box Breathing technique.

What is Box Breathing?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and struggled to regain your composure? Box breathing is a technique that can come to your rescue in such situations. This technique, employed by Navy Seals during critical moments, can be practiced virtually anywhere and by anyone – be it in a meeting, at your desk, while driving, or even in the shower.

How Does It Work?

Box breathing works by shifting your nervous system from the sympathetic (stress response) to the parasympathetic (calm response), helping you relax and refocus. Here’s how you can practice it:

1. Inhale: Begin by taking a deep breath as you move up the right side of the imaginary box, counting to 4 seconds.

2. Hold: Hold your breath as you traverse the top of the box, maintaining the count of 4 seconds.

3. Exhale: Slowly exhale to the count of 4 as you move down the left side of the box.

4. Hold: Once again, hold your breath for 4 seconds as you complete the bottom of the box.

Repeat this cycle 4 to 6 times, or as needed, to feel more relaxed and centered.

Build a Habit

Remember, managing stress is not about eliminating it entirely but learning how to harness its power effectively. By incorporating simple techniques like box breathing into your daily routine, you can cultivate a greater sense of calm, improve your decision-making skills, and lead with confidence.

You can watch the youtube video here!

If you’re interested in exploring more ways to reduce stress or learn about mindfulness techniques, we’re here to help! Feel free to reach out to Jodi directly through LinkedIn or email her at

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