There’s an old joke that goes: Want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans.
The point is simple: life is chaotic and unpredictable.
And so is war.
Mark Divine knows this firsthand. As a Navy SEAL, he’s seen combat and weathered the stressors that attend it. And to manage them, he relies on breathing techniques he learned doing yoga and martial arts. He calls it box breathing.
He detailed it in a recent article for TIME Magazine’s mindfulness blog, Moto, as well as in his new book Kokoro Yoga: Maximize Your Human Potential and Develop the Spirit of a Warrior the SEALfit Way. It’s super easy to learn.
Breaks down like so:
- Expel all of the air from your lungs
- Keep them empty for four seconds
- Inhale through your nose for four seconds
- Hold for a four count (don’t clamp down or create pressure; be easy)
- Exhale for a four count
- Repeat for 10-20 minutes
Divine says he practices this while in line at the grocery store, sitting in traffic, working, in the mornings and before workouts.
Give it a try. It’ll help you stay calm when the chaos seems to be a bit much. Might even give you the lungs to laugh it off.