Personal Experiment 10: How to Breathe (1)

Xue Zing
4 min readAug 7, 2021
Image from Unsplash by Brett Jordon

The title may seem like a joke to everyone but I really did do an experiment on how to breathe.

To be precise, I did multiple experiments on how to breath but all with the same goal, breathing better.

Do I not know how to breathe? Why would I learn how to do so?

When we were babies, deep belly breathing was the default but as we grew older, we got into the habit of taking shorter breaths using only our lungs.

The benefits of breathing properly as mentioned include better focus, better recovery, better relaxation, and lower anxiety and reduced stress

Lower anxiety!

Based on previous Personal Experiments 3 and 4, anything that might help lower anxiety and reduce stress is a must-try.

Furthermore, it’s just breathing, zero cost besides time.

Awareness of the issue,

Everybody says, just take deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed out or anxious.

That is absolutely trash advice since it only gives a very general and brief solution to a problem.

It is just advice that tells you what to do as I categorized it in my previous article. The equivalent of telling someone to just build a bridge since they need to cross a river.

I got really annoyed and decided to take matters into my own hands by doing a few personal experiments on it.

There were 3 experiments done for this, Box Breathing technique in 2017, Wim Hoffman technique in 2019, and the HRV (Heart rate variability) in 2021.

This article will address the first one, Box Breathing.

Goal Setting,

The goal was to reduce anxiety and stress, especially in dire situations.

This meant situations that needed one to calm down instantly such as going on stage to give a speech or focusing on an important competition.

I noticed the stress and anxiety would eat away at me during those important times which would cause a decrease in performance, regardless of whether it was an exam or a competition or going for an interview.

Xue Zing

Writing about thought provokers that go against conventional self-help