In our search for peak mental performance, we often overlook a powerful tool: our breath. Scientific research has uncovered breathing techniques that can significantly boost our focus and mental clarity. Here, we explore three such methods, each backed by science, to help you achieve a state of heightened concentration.

1. The Wim Hof Method

Cyclic Hyperventilation, famously known as the Wim Hof Method, is not just a practice for extreme athletes; anyone looking to enhance their mental resilience can benefit from it coupled with cold exposure.

  • Technique: Engage in cycles of hyperventilation followed by breath holding and relaxation.
  • Benefits: Increases energy, reduces stress, and improves the immune response.
  • Scientific Backing: Studies show this method can activate the sympathetic nervous system and control the immune response, a feat previously deemed impossible.
  • Do it with an Oxa app: Look for a Power Breathing II exercise. However, newcomers should be mindful of its intensity and practice with caution. Start with level 1 and progress your way through.

Also Read: Reach Your Peak: Boost HRV for Ultimate Performance

2. Box Breathing

Box Breathing, a simple yet potent technique, is widely used for stress reduction and improving focus. It's particularly popular in high-stress environments like the military.

  • Technique: Inhale, hold, exhale, and pause, each for four seconds.
  • Benefits: Regulates breathing, lowers blood pressure, and calms the mind.
  • Scientific Insights: Research links box breathing to reduced stress hormones, improved problem-solving, and quicker reaction times.
  • Do it with an Oxa app: Look for a Box Breathing 4:4:4:4 exercise.

3. Breath Holds

Practiced by free divers and athletes, breath holding is all about controlling your breath to enhance lung capacity and focus.

  • Technique: Hold your breath for a set period, followed by normal breathing, then repeat.
  • Benefits: By alternately stimulating and calming the nervous system, this technique is excellent for maintaining clarity and focus in challenging environments. It also improves tolerance to low oxygen levels and reduces stress.
  • Scientific Evidence: Studies indicate that breath hold training can activate relaxation responses and improve overall well-being.
  • Do it with an Oxa app: Look for a Finding Comfort in Anxiety II exercise.

Integrating These Techniques with Oxa

Incorporating these breathing exercises into your daily routine is made easier with Oxa. Our app provides detailed live guidance based on your vitals, helping you to practice safely and effectively. Whether you're a novice or seeking to deepen your practice, Oxa helps you achieve optimal mental performance.

Also Read: Improve HRV: 5 Breathing Techniques for Better Health


Breathing exercises like Cyclic Hyperventilation, Box Breathing, and Breath Holds offer a practical and scientifically proven way to enhance mental focus and productivity. By incorporating these techniques into your daily routine, you can experience improved concentration, reduced stress, and a heightened sense of well-being.

Remember, consistency is key. Regular practice of these techniques in your Oxa app can lead to significant improvements in your focus and mental clarity. So breathe your way to peak mental performance with these scientifically-backed methods and Oxa, your breathing exercise device.

Angelina Sarycheva
May 28, 2024

MA, CPT accredited by The International Sports Science Association, is a health writer and Content Lead at Oxa Life. With over five years in the health and wellness industry, her expertise, rooted in hands-on experience with leading wellness brands, is to deliver impactful health content to a global audience.

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Get the Oxa Sensor and your choice of garment - lounge-wear shirt, bra, or adjustable chest strap. Your purchase includes access to the Oxa app which gives personalized data summaries and insights, as well as access to breathing exercises to teach you how to harness the power of your own breath.