Brain Training Your Breath for Sports

Written By: drcleere

Mental Moment-just breath


BreathingI often wonder why we don’t utilize our breath more often. Not only does it have many physiological benefits but it has several psychological benefits. As Elite Performers the breath can be used to:


  1. Relax tense muscles. Rowers , golfers and tennis can learn to relax their grip. Musician’s can learn to loosen their grip or their lips on the instrument. Actors can relax their diaphragm.
  2. Take a pause.  In situations where you do need to think a bit before doing anything, a pause will help you to stop and think about the direction you want to go.
  3. Refocus. Learning to take a breath can help bring your mind back to the moment of playing, auditioning, creating, etc.
  4. Break the chain. Similar to #2, a breath will help you break your automatic patterns of thinking, acting and responding.
  5. Help with sleep. If you have a lot of angst at night, focusing on your breath or doing some progressive muscle relaxation will help you fall asleep.

While there are other benefits these are the top 5 reasons to tap into the underutilized resource you have contained right inside of you. :-) Yogi’s have been using the breath for hundreds of years why not you?

Happy Day!

Dr. Michelle

Photo credit:


Written by  on July 10, 2012 · Reprinted with permission. Thank you Dr. Cleere.


Comment from Dr. David Burns:

Volitional breathing is a right frontal function from what I understand. Doing breathing exercises elevates right brain. This same area in turn is able to inhibit or modulate other areas of brain associated with sympathetic nervous system (IML – interomedial lateral tract). Decrease sympathetic and increase parasympathetic and many of the stress related health issues dissipate.

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