The previous blog post is about mindfulness. Mindfulness is the understanding of your emotions and being aware of the scenario. When you are practicing mindfulness, you are regulating your emotions to better yourself in sport, performance, and life. When you regulate your emotions, you are allowing yourself to understand where you are and what the situation is. Let’s say that you are in the Frozen Four playing for a spot in the final. While you will have the desire and fire to win and play hard, it is important to maintain a level head to see what is taking place on the ice. If you are rushing across the ice and hurrying your play, you get tunnel vision and lose sight of what you are aiming to do. In every team sport, you have to possess an outward broad focus and internal broad focus to prepare for your next move.
One of the ways to ensure that you are relaxed and focus is to ensure that your mind and body are relaxed. A tool that one can use is relaxation breathing. Breathing exercises are a form of a yogic breathing technique used to treat minor psychological illnesses and maintain general wellbeing. The ritual of relaxation breathing takes place by intaking air via the diaphragm to move air downward into the body allowing for an increase of the diaphragm length and breathing efficiency which allow for the facilitation of a more efficient exhalation. Relaxation breathing is described as the process of inhaling a deep breath, which allows the individual to intake more oxygen and release more carbon dioxide. It is this fresh oxygen supply that allows for rejuvenation within the brain and facilitates optimum blood supply and blood circulation. When the body enters the relaxed state, the mind and body go into a parasympathetic state, which is the body’s natural way to counteract the stress felt by the body and allow for the body to calm itself, thus transitioning the body to an elevated level of cardiorespiratory synchronization. In the relaxed state, the breathing helps increase concentration and relaxation, and stabilize the heartbeat and blood pressure.
The breathing exercises must be practiced daily. You have to teach yourself to intake oxygen through the diaphragm as it is natural for everyone to breathe through their lungs. Take 1 minute a day and teach yourself to breathe through your diaphragm and see yourself relax. You will feel the muscles relax and your body goes limp in a sense of relaxation. Your mind will clear or reset and you can refocus on that task at hand.