We loose the ability to breath deeply naturally as we age: deep breathing comes naturally to children, but we lose the ability because we’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight, low-level stress. Our breathing migrates up in our bodies; it's an anxious breath.
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... is the fastest, most effective way to trigger the relaxation response, enabling you to think more clearly and perform better under pressure.
The Navy SEALs use 2 breathing techniques that force the body into a more relaxed state when they’re in a high-pressure situation:
Is a technique to use when you feel yourself having a fight-or-flight response. It involves all your breathing muscles–from chest to belly.
It’s meant to ground you, sharpen your concentration, and leave you feeling alert but calm.
How it’s done: Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb and exhaling through the left nostril.
When it works best: Crunch time, or whenever it’s time to focus or energize.
Focused, abdominal breathing (belly breathing) 20 to 30 minutes each day is a great way to achieve a natural relaxation response.
The point of focused breathing is to feel connected to your body, and be present and aware of the feeling of your worries drifting farther and farther away.
It involves filling the lungs to the max and goes by various names like belly or diaphragmatic breathing.
It has been linked to improved cognitive performance, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.