Breathe In, Breathe Out
Breathe in, Breathe out. Simple as that right?
Sure breathing is just in and out, but when you breathe “correctly” or practice certain techniques, it can be much more beneficial to your health including:
Crazy right? Personally, I have been working on breathing techniques for about 6-7 years. I started working on these techniques after I was diagnosed with spontaneous vocal cord disorder. This disorder causes a restriction of the vocal cords and ultimately causes wheezing. Due to this ongoing wheezing, I visited a breathing specialist where she advised me on how to breath better, and deeper.
Along with that, I rely heavily on my breathing as I compete in competitive shooting. As a competitive shooter it is imperative to control your breathing, which reduces the heart rate so that the gun can remain steady.
My experience with controlled breathing has come from numerous instructors including Tai Chi experts and even world class Olympians. These breathing techniques have also helped me off the field as well.
I use them to alleviate stress during tests, stress at work, periods of high anxiety and even to relieve muscle tension. Because of this extensive training, I now have the ability to better control my body during highly emotional situations.
There are a few breathing techniques I mainly focus on that I am very excited to share with you. They begin with deep breathing, which after some practice, will eventually become your lifestyle.
You should try to breathe like this subconsciously 24/7, although, that is a lot easier said then done. Try starting off with picking one, setting 20 minutes a day for some much needed “me time”, create a relaxing environment, and in the ever beautiful words of Shania Twain, just breath. With this technique, you allow your body to experience the optimal amount of air for the greatest mental and physical benefits.
Other techniques that I frequently practice are PMR or Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Alternate Nostril Breathing and Bunny Breaths. These techniques help to relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and allow you to achieve “fuller” breaths in desperate times.
Here are a few exercises to gain the full benefit of each technique:
PMR, Progressive Muscle Relaxation:
Alternate Nostril Breathing
I can speak from first hand experience that each of these techniques truly works. So I challenge you; try doing deep breathing (or another technique of your choice) everyday for a week, then extend that week to a month. Before you know it, these techniques will become second nature and you should see improvements in your overall health. Breathing right is a step towards a better life. A Striven life.