This super-simple breathing exercise will help you to ditch that anxious, “butterflies in stomach” feeling that accompanies stressful situations – such as stepping into the gym for the first time.
First of all, I want you to do a little test to determine whether you breathe through your chest or your stomach. Place one hand on the centre of your stomach and the other on the centre of your chest.
Now, (assuming you don’t have any medical conditions relating to breathing) take a breath in and then answer the following:
Take a breath and answer these:
1. Which hand moves first?
2. Do you breathe through your mouth or your nose?
What we want is breathing through the nose into the “stomach” (so your stomach should expand first) and then out through the mouth.
Try and practice breathing in for four seconds through the nose, holding for two seconds then breathing out for six seconds through the mouth.
^^ this is the “perfection” of the breathing world…
1. Breathe through the nose and into the stomach for 4 seconds
2. Hold that breath for 2 seconds
3. Breathe out through the mouth for 6 seconds
4. Repeat 5 times
Breathing like this will help you to calm down in those moment where you start to lose your shit. Take note of how calm and relaxed you feel after taking five breaths this way.
This is one of those “skills” that is so simple and obvious that NOBODY does it! You’ll get an idea of just how powerful this can be when you try out the breathing exercise above.
Next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, try this breathing technique and I assure you it will help you calm the f**k down!
PS – As an added bonus, this “stomach breathing” technique will also help you take in oxygen more efficiently during your workouts – win-win really!
What To Do Now
This exercise will help you deal with the PHYSICAL side of your fear but it’s like trying to cover up sweaty armpits with an extra spray of deodorant… It temporarily fixes the problem but doesn’t solve the ROOT CAUSE.
To get rid of those “gym fears” for good so you can focus on losing weight and toning up, we need to dig a little deeper into the mind…