The best state for performing to your golf game potential is when your body is relaxed and your mind is alert and focused. Deep breathing is the way to access this state.
“Natural Relaxed Breathing*
THE WAY YOU breathe can directly affect your emotional state. Changing your breathing can change your thoughts and emotions. Paying attention to your breath is a vehicle for releasing stress and allowing the body to find its balance. Your breathing is a good indicator of your feelings and thinking patterns. Proper breathing can relieve stress-related symptoms, such as performance anxiety. It is important to keep your breathing even for consistent golf.
When you are anxious, your body gives you signals such as perspiration, tightness or pain in the stomach, rapid heartbeat, short breaths, raw throat, and clammy, shaky hands. When you are relaxed your breathing will be deep, regular, comfortable, smooth, and easy instead of shallow, rapid, and irregular.
When frustrated or angry, most people breathe in, tense their bodies, and hold their breath. When there is tension the body cannot move smoothly and efficiently. Tension can cause a variety of swing problems, including poor club head speed, an incorrect swing path, and faulty clubface alignment at impact. Instead of producing a smooth, effortless, easy swing, the anxious golfer uses brute force resulting in a fast, jerky, hard swing.
Causes of Tension
Being tense can be caused by being ball bound. This means that you are so fixated on the golf ball that you automatically tense up when you put your club behind the ball at address. The result is hitting at the ball instead of swinging through it. This causes tension in your wrists, arms and shoulders, which destroys your rhythm and reduces your sense of feel. A good way to access feeling the swing is to practice swinging a golf club with your eyes closed.
Practice Natural and Efficient Breathing
Breathing is the most important physiological function of your body. You can live forty days without food, ten days without water, but only four minutes without oxygen.
If you watch a baby breathe, or watch someone who is sleeping, you will see this relaxed, natural breathing. As you breathe in through your nose, notice that your stomach protrudes on the inhale and falls on the exhale.
We have been taught to relieve tension by sucking in our stomachs, taking in a big breathe and letting our chest and shoulders rise. This actually creates tension and tightness in your chest and shoulder muscles. In golf we need to have these muscles relaxed so we can make a full shoulder turn to set up the torque for maximum golf club acceleration.
Deep breathing is the key to relaxation. The more you relax, the better you feel. The more you relax, the better you play. The more you relax, the easier it is to focus. And the more you relax, the more powerful your mind is.
My personal preference to relax and focus before hitting any shot on the golf course is to take in three deep breaths through my nose during my preshot routine. I take in one deep conscious breath each for my mind, body and spirit.
Be in the Moment
With a simple activity of controlled breathing you are helping your body to move to a higher vibratory state of being where tension and worry change. When you are not attached to a situation and let it go, you are in the moment of stillness that resides between the in breath and out breath, and you feel calm. With this awareness your whole physiology begins to change.
There is a natural rhythm when you go within. Being in the zone state is like being in the flow of a river. When you go against the river, it is challenging. When you are in your natural flow of rhythm within, life and your golf game proceed easily. This is how you shift and transform into your true self where there is only gratitude, joy, and happiness. You become more aware of your senses, which give you the guidance you need to execute your golf shot.”
Improve your breathing technique and relaxation skill by listening to the PMI self-hypnosis CD “Progressive Relaxation of the Mind & Body” in the privacy of your own home. All eight PMI self-hypnosis CDs begin with guided breathing techniques for focus and relaxation. Order today at http://www.pmi4.com/cart
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If you aren’t able to maintain focus and relaxation on the golf course, email Joan at email@example.com or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.
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