O'Reilly logo

Performing Under Pressure: Gaining the Mental Edge in Business and Sport by Saul L Miller

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Part III. CONSCIOUS BREATHING

In Asian countries there is a cosmological appreciation that all things possess the same universal energy. It's called chi in China, and ki in Japan. The Japanese words to describe the weather, magnetism, health, sickness, and psychological states all refer to ki (weather isthe ki of the sky, magnetism isthe ki of a stone, health is natural ki, sickness is blocked ki, depression is dropped ki, craziness is ki that is straight but in the wrong direction.) Interesting? Perhaps. Relevant? I believe so. Especially when we consider how to incorporate or draw more of that ki into our lives. The easiest answer is with conscious breathing.

If you're like most people, when pressure builds and things get intense, you tighten up. You cut down your breathing, hold your breath, or exaggerate the exhalation. In so doing, you limit yourself and heighten feelings of anxiety and disease. What's important to remember is that breathing is a powerful performance enhancer and a way out of worry overload. It's also a great balancing mechanism. You can use your breathing to psyche up,[10] calm down, improve your concentration, recharge, "get it togeth-er" and be more in the moment.

Working with clients, one of the first things I focus on is the way they breathe. It reflects the way they deal with tension and stress, and it's basic to how they feel about themselves... and how they perform. I've witnessed some remarkable performance shifts with clients who have learned to breathe ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required