Do you ever feel so stressed out, that you don’t know what to do?
If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the globe suffer from anxiety every day. Humans are hardwired to feel anxious. For some, anxiety is so constant that it becomes a debilitating part of their life. While there are many different ways to treat anxiety, one of the simplest and most effective methods is the martial art breathing found in Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
In this post, we’ll discuss what martial art breathing is, how it can help relieve anxiety, and some tips for practicing it. So if you’re looking for a simple way to reduce your stress levels, keep reading!don’t solve the problem entirely.
When people are emotionally upset their sympathetic nervous system has been fully activated. They don’t recognize what is happening to them as the reactions we see based on each person’s communication skills or competency in dealing with emotions. Unfortunately, some of us have an anxious type temperament which makes it more likely they’ll react stronger than others.
The vagus nerve is a vital communication device that links our brains with every part of our bodies. It runs from the base of the skull, down through to just above where we breathe deeply in an effortless process while staring into space – this delicate exchange happens non-verbally so great are its abilities!
When people experience a flood of emotions resulting from anxiety, their vagus nerve has to be activated in order for them be able think clearly again. Then and only then, can we engage with logic when talking about what happened or how they should handle things going forward.
So, how do we use this knowledge to guide ourselves and others back to a place of reasoning? By hacking into the parasympathetic nervous system with the effective methods found in… You Guessed It!
Martial Arts at the most fundamental level is Deep Breathing harmonized with Physical Movement. There are techniques inside ancient Chinese martial arts that, when practiced can help us change our state, from being out of control with fear, anxiety, or anger, to our peak state of confident and calm.
Long, deep breaths found in each martial art form, are the quickest and best way to calm ourselves. The longer and more drawn out our exhale is, the quicker relief from stress! Dr. Lucy Norcliffe-Kaufmann from NYU suggests that we take longer exhales in order for the vagal activity and heart rate of an individual be lowest during this process as opposed to inhales which have higher levels than they might otherwise prefer due only being aware solely on how fast we’re beating inside our chests
Movement in general will essentially take our minds away from intense feelings and increase endorphins. However, there are certain movements found inside our Kung Fu and Tai Chi which can expedite calmness by decreasing blood pressure quickly while increasing deep breathing that can produce a sense of relaxation in one’s body during those who do them correctly.
Try this simple exercise.
8 Count Breath:
1) Inhale through the nose and count to three, while expanding your abdomen gradually by pushing out and down, allowing oxygen fill your lower chest.
2) Exhale and count down from five to one.
Rooster Crows At Dawn:
1. Open your arms forward, palms facing up.
2. Open arms to sides, while inhaling deeply(3 count)
3. Exhale slowly (5 count) as you lower your arms to the rear, palms facing down.
4. Repeat 3-5 times
Practice this simple, yet valuable form each day to develop the skill to control your state. When you become aware of anxiety, fear or anger, plug this one in and return to your natural state.
If you’re looking for a way to quickly alleviate anxiety, anger, or any other overwhelming emotion, martial art exercises might be the answer for you. They’re easy to learn and don’t require any special equipment or space, so they can be done anywhere. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself enjoying them so much that you decide to pursue a black belt!
If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, give martial art breathing a try – you might be surprised at how well it works! Please note that kids need this tool more than you may think. So, share with your family and friends.
Stan Tabor, 6th Duan (6th Degree Black Belt), US Representative of Hong Taiji International, Founder of Life Skill Martial Arts Academy.