Blowing Away The Stress

Mental Toughness Technique Breathing

Here is a simple technique for removing the tension and clearing the mind in stressful situations. Before attempting this exercise please make sure to use ONLY your imagination and DO NOT use a real candle and flame. 
 

  1. Imagine a lit candle standing about 4 inches in front of your face. 
  2. Begin by inhaling or breathing-in slowly.
  3. Next exhale or blow gently out from the mouth onto the imagined candle flame. Always blowing with the right level of intensity and consistency.
  4. Notice how the imagined flame moves with each gentle breath out that you take.
  5. Notice how each breath out is slightly different. You may imagine the flame moving slightly more or less depending on the intensity of each exhale.
  6. Focus on the positive sensation of each gentle breath in and each gentle breath out.
  7. It is important that you imagine blowing on the flame of the candle just enough to make the candle flame move but not enough to blow it out. If you imagine blowing out the flame start over in your mind and blow slightly softer. 
  8. Repeat this step over and over only imagining the candle flame and nothing else.  


With consistent practice athletes will notice a decrease in their number of thoughts as well as a deepened relaxation throughout the body. This is an excellent exercise for sports that encourage pre-shot routines and pre-competition routines. Athletes may practice this skill for a few seconds at a time up to 5 minutes when necessary.