Tactical Breathing for Inner Strength

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I’ve been having such great feedback on my post about Peripheral Vision that I thought I’d discuss Tactical orInner Strength Combat Breathing.

To start, this process works great as part of any other type of mental strength technique such as visualization or peripheral vision exercise.  And actually the combination of Tactical Breathing with peripheral vision will anchor a very solid, calm resourceful state.

My suggestion is to practice the exercise separately for about a week and then start to combine them. 

If you want to take this to a whole different level with personal one-on-one training request an Introductory Consultation.

Tactical or Combat Breathing

This is a  technique that Lt. Col. Dave Grossman teaches and  is originally designed for those in highly intense adrenaline spiked activities such as a police officer who is being shot at and only has one opportunity to take that shot, or a soldier who is about to black out from the horror of being caught in a fire fight. It can also be used in many other stressful situations such self-defense, martial arts, body guard, security guard and even before taking an exam.  The book “Warrior Mindset” goes over this and other techniques to help in extremely stressful situation.

Your body has multiple automatic responses that are all controlled by your autonomic nervous system. This further breaks down to your sympathetic nervous system and your parasympathetic nervous system. This controls everything your body does without you thinking and usually without control. Such as regulating body temperature, blinking, breathing, your digestive system…etc Well out of the many things you can’t control there are two that you can. This is your breathing and your blinking.

Try it now…try changing your body temperature.

Try dilating your pupils or constricting your blood vessels…go ahead…you simply can’t, can you?

Now do this. Blink as fast as you can. Slow down your blinking.

Easy, right?

Now try breathing…take a bunch of short shallow breathes, now take several slow deep breathes. Notice the change in your entire body when doing these two. But also notice that when you do not attempt to control these consciously they simply do what they’re supposed to!

This is where Tactical Breathing comes from. Being able to control the automatic responses your body creates. By doing this you become extremely relaxed. Things you can’t normally control just by thinking about them you can now control…such as your heart rate, or sweaty palms.

4 Count Breathing

One of the most common breathing techniques for calming yourself down is Four Count Breathing, also referred to as Combat Breathing. Four Count breathing requires you to consciously regulate the amount of airflow your body is receiving over four second intervals. While it can be a difficult technique to master under extreme stress, the principle of the breathing is simple. Breathing is as follows:

  1. Slowly inhale a deep breath over 4 seconds.
  2. Hold the breath in for 4 seconds.
  3. Slowly exhale the breath out over 4 seconds.
  4. Hold the empty breath for 4 seconds.
  5. Repeat until your breathing is under control.

In other words, take a deep breath through your nose for a count of four. 1, 2, 3, 4. Hold that breath for a count of four. 1, 2, 3, 4. Breath out through your mouth for a count of four. 1, 2, 3, 4. Hold again for a count of four without breathing at all. Then repeat the entire process four times.

If your heart is racing this is a very quick way to slow it down and get a hold of yourself. It is a technique that I’ve used in my military and civilian life and has allowed me to control not only my body but my thoughts when doing things.

You can use Tactical Breathing when you need to quickly get control of your breathing. It will take focus and control to maintain this rhythm. This technique may need to be used to silence any heavy and labored breathing that you may have developed from a long run carrying lots of gear. You may discover that an enemy is nearby and do not want to announce your presence or give away your position with the sounds of labored breathing.

Warning! Every person is different and sometimes repeating it 4 times does not calm people down, they might need to do it 5 or 6 times. It depends on the individual, but a general rule, especially when there isn’t a lot of time such as in a combat situation, 4 is the way to go.

Tactical Breathing will also help alleviate the affects adrenaline and stress and when combined with peripheral vision…look out!  You’ll have the mental strength and inner strength to absolutely achieve peak personal performance.

So tell me…what’s your experience with Tactical Breathing?  Please let me know in the comments below.

If you’d like to additional information on developing a warrior mindset, confidence and increasing your personal performance grab a copy of, “Develop the Mental Strength of a Warrior” now.  It will affect the way you think and act, so that you can live up to your ultimate personal power!

If you’d really like to make fast progress towards realizing your full personal power and potential as well as develop the mindset of confidence, request your Introductory Consultation today!

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  1. Thanks for the comment Brandy and glad the tactical breathing worked out. Keep up the progress!

  2. Just tried it the way you detailed it and it works immediately. I am not a veteran but have lived several years in high stress abusive circumstances and now I am recovering from health problems connected with that time in my life.

  3. Thanks TJ! Glad you found it helpful, thanks for letting us know 🙂

  4. This is a technique that I was taught after my deployments to Iraq. It would have been useful to know before I deployed but it is ok, it is helping me now. I use this when I am in a situation that makes me feel anxious or when things startle me to get me back down to earth. Works when the kids are driving you crazy too!


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