Breathing correctly is nature’s automatic relaxant. When a person takes a deep, diaphragmatic breath the muscles along the back involuntarily relax as part of the movement. Since the shoulder muscles are largely tied into the lumbar support muscles of the spine this effect cascades throughout the upper torso. Additionally, the amount of oxygen in the blood increases, and breath rate slows, both of which enhance concentration and physical performance.
In stressful, high anxiety situations, breathing is usually either too rapid or too shallow. Sometimes people even hold their breath at various stages on a continual basis. This type of breathing increases tension in the muscles, impairs precise muscle control, and reduces concentration ability. Therefore, proper breathing is a core part of every relaxation technique and a good first step towards improving skill in relaxation. Continue reading Relaxation Technique – proper breathing