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Tactical breathing

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.

  • Place your right hand on your belly, pushing out with a big exhale. Then breathe in through your nostrils, slowly drawing the breath upward from your belly to your upper chest.
  • Pause and exhale, starting from your chest and moving downward to the air in your belly. Imagine your belly button touching your spine.
  • Once you’re comfortable with a full, deep breath, repeat it, this time making the exhale twice as long as the length of the inhale. 

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

... 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:

  • Tactical breathing
  • Box breathing.

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.

It’s meant to ground you, sharpen your concentration, and leave you feeling alert but calm

  • Push the air out of your chest, keeping your lungs empty for the count of four. Then start the tactical breathing, inhaling through your nose for a count of four, drawing air...

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How it’s done:  Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a count of 6.

It calm the nervous system, increase focus and reduce stress.

When it works best...

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Breathing Techniques for Muscle Tension Relief

  1. Stand up straight and bend forward at the waist. Bend knees slightly, letting your arms hang limply, close to the floor.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply, and return to a standing position by slowly rolling your body up, lifting your head last.
  3. Exhale slowly

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Breathing exercises

Breathing is at the core of ancient (and currently trendy) mindfulness practices, from yoga and tai chi to meditation.

However, studies suggest that breathing exercises alone, derived from those ancient yoga practices, can be good for the body and mind. 

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