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Breathing and Tension

Breathing and Tension


We all breathe, all the time.

Or do we ?

In moments of stress, we often “forget” to breathe! By realising this, it is possible to check our breathing and to make a conscious effort to breathe normally. So, what is normal breathing?

It is rhythmical, the chest rises and falls, the abdomen rises and falls. The process fills your lungs, but doesn’t over fill them. It is easy, even, slow, and relaxed. It is constant and consistent.

And what goes wrong?

Children often “learn” that if they stop breathing, their emotions hurt less. This pattern can continue into adulthood. This knowledge and behaviour is not at a conscious level, but by realising the possibility it can be overcome.

In moments of stress our breath may be shallow. This gives us more oxygen which, if fight or flight is actually required, can be useful. But if we choose to “continue as normal” through a stressful episode, that oxygen is surplus to requirements and can cause fainting.


We all know what tension feels like, if we stop to think. And that is the key: AWARENESS. If we carry unnecessary tension, it will cause problems: pains, illnesses, discomfort, tiredness.

So, THINK about it:

where do you habitually hold tension?

where are you tense right now?

Knowing this can help a person to alleviate stress in a health manner.

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