If you’re looking to improve your ability to stay calm and collected under pressure,
then there are numerous different techniques you can use.
One of the most potent is to learn to control your breathing, which can immediately
help you to feel calmer and avoid being pushed over into the stress response.
In fact, you can also use your breathing in the long term to improve your
overall psychological state and health. Moreover, these techniques can be
highly effective when combined with meditation.
In this post, we’ll be looking at three techniques you can employ to stay calm.
Equal breathing is a technique from yoga, which essentially requires you to breathe in and out through your nose. While doing this, you maintain your breath for an equal amount of time on the in-wards and out-wards breaths. So you might breathe out for 4 seconds and then breathe in for four seconds.
This helps you to empty your lungs and fill them with fresh oxygen. What’s more, the slow and deep breathing will allow you to trigger your ‘rest and digest’ state which is similar but slightly different to the ‘fight or flight’ state and is controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system. This is a great way to stave off a anxiety response.
Breathing From the Stomach
Another breathing technique to try is simply to breathe from the stomach as we are naturally designed to do. Abdominal breathing is essentially the
type of breathing we should all been engaging in all the time,
but most of us don’t remember how to do it. If you try breathing right now and note whether your stomach or chest moves first, you may well find that you breathe by leading with your chest.
This limits the amount of oxygen you can take in with each breath
and that can increase stress.
Instead, breathe by first allowing your abdomen to expand. This will allow your diaphragm to drop into that space, opening up your lungs. You can then follow by expanding your chest and you’ll have more space in total to take in more oxygen.
Focus on letting your stomach breathe first and you’ll find its much more
revitalizing and reinvigorating.
Power positions are one technique that anyone can use to boost their confidence
and reduce anxiety and they’re perfect for using anytime you are feeling the
need to plug into your power.
Essentially, studies show us that when we adopt certain positions it can
impact on the release of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Power positions are positions that have been shown by research to trigger the
production of testosterone and other positive, stress-fighting hormones.
One of the most potent is the ‘victory pose’.
If you simply stand with your arms above you in a ‘V’ shape, as though you had
just won a competition, this will increase your production of testosterone,
helping you to feel more confident and more driven.