That you are a golfer or not, breathing optimally, periodically, has many benefits on your overall wellbeing and performance. It has been reported that slow breathing, at approximately 6 breaths per minute, with equal inhalation to exhalation, is optimal to minimize, and in some cases, restore many physical and mental malaises such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.
Taking regular "breathing breaks" throughout your day is a great habit to develop. After reading the book "Breath" by James Nestor, I decided to try the optimal 6 breaths per minutes , three times a day (so only 3 minutes daily!) From the get go, I felt instantly calmer, more focused, and ready to tackle the rest of my day.
Try it! Put a timer for 60 seconds (one that you can see the seconds counting down). Exhale out completely, start the timer, then breathe in for 5 seconds, breathe out for 5 seconds, for 6 cycles. I recommend breathing in and out thru your nose if possible.
Once you are done, observe how you are feeling then go on with your day. Repeat as often as you wish, and observe the changes in your overall state. After a while, you may find that you want to do the 6 breaths per minute for a longer period of time. For example, you may want to do it for 5 minutes, twice a day.
The more often you practice this technique, the easier it will be to integrate it on the golf course, allowing you to stay cool and collected, while properly oxygenating your brain and muscles. This will allow you to make better decisions on the course, keep fatigue at bay, and complete the round optimally!
Watch Phil Mickelson regulating his breathing
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