The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse.”  – Carlos Casteneda

Combat have always fascinated me. I don’t mean the act of harming someone or something, but the act of persevering. Standing tall against adversity and winning. Being steadfastness despite difficulty. I simply just love a challenge. But sometimes these things can get the better of us, especially when we test our limits. Meditation or times of quite self-reflection have always helped me cope with stress and difficult times. Tactical breathing is just another tool that I’ve learned!

“As practiced by modern police and military, it allows you to rapidly regain control of you body during critical situations. Body functions, such as heart rate, body temperature, breathing, blinking, and digesting are controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). In most situations, you are unaware of the workings of the ANS because it functions in an involuntary, reflexive manner. There are two responses you do have control over – breathing and blinking. We can use breathing as a bridge back from mindless panicked “fight or fight” to put ourselves in an optimal condition to fight.”

Here’s how to “breathe tactically”:

  • Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4.
  • Hold your breath to the count of 4.
  • Breathe out through your lips to the count of 4.
  • Hold your breath to the count of 4.
  • Repeat until you feel your body and mind relax.

I was at first quite skeptical. I found myself wondering, “would this actually work?”. After using this technique for about two weeks – training at the gym, sitting in my office, before my shift at work (in the middle or before any potentially stressful scenarios) – and have only encountered positive results. If you aren’t sold or find yourself hesitant, especially because of the “tactical” (implied for military and law enforcement) label, simply view it as controlled breathing!

Breathe – manage your distress, clear your mind, and be happy.

For more on controlled/tactical breathing, check out this fantastic article: Tactical Breathing Can Stop Stress on the Spot

– Daniel