- 2 You can see to simplify breathing related to fear on three levels:
- 2.1 First Level – Personal Fear
- 2.2 Second Level – Fear Based on Real Threat
- 2.3 Level 3 – Fear resulting from actual confrontation with hands or with proper and improper weapons
- 2.4 How do you have to breathe to prepare for a fight or escape?
- 2.5 Yoga and breathing
- 2.6 Conclusions
3 ways to breathe under stress and fear.
Breathing under the stress of an aggression is not easy and for this I recommend these 3 ways of breathing in fear.
If a person feels or perceives the danger and feels fear but is not prepared to handle this feeling, his heart pulses and blood pressure increase while his breathing is blocked for a few seconds by fear.
The result of this physiological reaction linked to fear stress is a stiffening related to tension and restriction of body movement, including what it takes to breathe forcing the heart to work harder as blood flows to the muscles but with a lower amount of oxygen.
“The result is that you get stuck with fear.”
Getting stuck without attack or escape reaction to defend yourself and getting safe when it comes to self-defense is not something you can afford and so you need to maintain a level of stress that you can’t erase but that allows you to maintain that level of physical and mental lucidity that allows your reaction.
The human body needs oxygen to move and think properly.
First Level – Personal Fear
It is the kind of fear that develops without any physical contact but that has formed within you as a result of a verbal threat, an aggressive scene, a potentially frightening situation.
It is your internal image that may or may not be accurate.
This fear can vary from person to person.
You may be only partially aware of the true causes and magnitude of this feeling of fear you feel.
This fear is accompanied by a specific type of breath interruption – irregular inhalation and exhalation, affected breathing or suffocated breath.
Second Level – Fear Based on Real Threat
This threat is very specific and real.
It’s the fear that arises because you feel that you may not be able to leave freely, or be hurt or seriously injured, or even worse.
What happens in this case is a breath disruption and this interruption is much more severe and extended over time.
Level 3 – Fear resulting from actual confrontation with hands or with proper and improper weapons
The physical threat becomes real and could be made with bare hands or with any object that an attacker has in his hand and wants to use as a deadly weapon.
This fear is due to the threat to your life and can arise in a certain area of our body without your awareness blocking you.
The breathing and interruption here would be extremely debilitating, bordering on panic and total inability to move.
How do you have to breathe to prepare for a fight or escape?
Now these 3 fears can concatenate by combining with each other and with different and alternating intensity.
The severity of the reaction is different in each case.
The approach should be different.
There are optimal respiratory practices used to deal with any situation that would be useful to learn in order to maintain a correct lucidity and ability to move and therefore to react.
The respiratory preparation to control the fear that is often used is very simple: at the first sign of stress, begin to breathe, accelerating the respiratory rhythm according to the heart rhythm. Inhale with your nose and exhale with your mouth.
Inhale with nose is very important.
Yoga and breathing
If you have practiced Yoga or relaxation techniques you know that deeply inhaling through the nose is connected to relaxation unlike breathing with your mouth involves many of your upper respiratory muscles.
Proper breathing helps to keep the body in proper and balanced posture; it gives stability and allows you to strike with the exact necessary force, so as not to hit “emotionally”, that is, out of anger or fear. In addition, it helps to maintain a calm and lucid psyche.
Breathing properly prevents the stress reaction and its developments.
Since this type of breathing is voluntary, it prevails over otherunconsciousrespiratory reactions.
When you are afraid, consciously accelerating your breathing pace gains in muscle tone and motor reactivity to stress and this allows you to quickly and in a controlled manner reach a state of alertness comparable to that of the aggressor.
The release of adrenaline under stress allows you to react very quickly even without breathing, but there is a big difference between having a freediving reaction compared to a reaction with proper breathing.
Being freediving exposes your body to injuries (during training or a fight because you lose control of your movements) and extreme fatigue of the whole body as well as a lack of self-control and energy.
Breathing correctly by restoring breathing also allows you to control and dissipate your fear with the result of being able to move properly without damage or injury and to be able to better visualize the situation by taking more appropriate and effective actions to the context.
Don’t make unnecessary movements and how to use breathing to eliminate them
Regardless of your experience, many martial arts and combat sports practitioners perform so-called “tension movements” as they prepare for contact.
Some are even repeated vices that make you understand the intention which is absolutely not good but all these preparatory movements of the body are unnecessary in combat and therefore useless.
These movements also decrease the precision in striking and freedom of movement because once you start a wave movement you have to “finish” it entirely, and this interferes with the effectiveness.
To control your extra movements, go in front of a mirror or pick yourself up with a smartphone but if there is a good instructor to observe you it is even better.
As you’re about to make contact with your training partner during sparring try to relax by making swaying movements with your chest, shoulders and arms dissolving your body, try to listen to the tension of your body and improve it.
But how do you have to do to avoid making unnecessary movements?
In the early stages of training you need to get used to the sight of the “threat”, inhale (this stabilizes the psyche and body) and when there is contact, react exhaling.
Once you get used to using this principle and putting it into practice, it will become something unconscious and natural.
In addition to becoming much calmer it will make no difference if the contact occurs when inhaling or exhaling because the reaction will be effective regardless of the respiratory phase in which you are attacked or otherwise.
Try to observe the inner calm and apparent immobility of some fighters during matches but at the same time the large and controlled explosive power and how it changes according to the opponents.
Also try tactical breathing for personal defense!
Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport