The largest challenge when confronting FEAR is the ability to control physiological reactions and “keep your cool”. As we have discussed in The Fear Factor, if FEAR is a natural expression of the human being, can we gain control over it? Is it possible to slow or stop its crippling effects? Simply…YES!
The following technique is often referred to as Autogenic or Combat Breathing. This technique is often used by law enforcement and military personnel. It works to slow their heart rates, thus minimizing the hormonal dump and the effects of the “fight or flight” mechanism. This allows greater situational awareness and emotional control.
Autogenic Breathing is a form of meditation based on the idea of passive concentration: which is, achieving relaxation by not actively working to do so (as in progressive relaxation). As focus is given to each inhale and exhale, oxygen is supplied to the body, the mind is calmed and stress is minimized (in a nutshell).
This breathing technique can be used in any situation which can cause stress: before meetings, public speaking engagements, presentations or any event that would cause an elevated heart rate.
Breath in for a count of 3
Hold breath for a count of 3
Exhale for a count of 3
Repeat as needed, until heart rate is under control.
Focus on your breaths – in and out, in and out, and in and out. Pay attention to your inhaling and exhaling. Count your breaths. And breathe naturally through your nose.
*To better understand the possible effects of this technique, try after an intense workout session. You will notice a dramatically decreased recovery time.
The more you practice this technique, the greater the value and the more effective it becomes. Once mastered, your ability to control and regulate your body’s physiological response to FEAR will be greatly enhanced, giving you the needed EDGE to SURVIVE.