Tag Archive for 'respirazione'

Why a deep breath calms us

It’s common to hear, “Take a deep breath to calm yourself.” But few people really know why this simple behavior can truly result in a mental and physical state of greater relaxation and self-control.

More than 25 years ago, a network of 3,000 interconnected neurons was identified within the brain system that appear to control most aspects of breathing, which has been called the pacemaker of breathing.

Other breakthroughs have been produced by studying the different proteins produced by genes in each cell highlighting at least 65 different types of neurons in the pacemaker, each presumably with a unique responsibility for regulating some aspect of respiration.

Research was published in Nature that showed that if certain cell types were inhibited in mice they lost the ability to sigh, In fact, mice, like people, normally sigh every few minutes, albeit unconsciously.

A subsequent investigation showed that by disabling another type of neuron related to breathing these animals initially continued to maintain the ability to sigh, yawn and breathe normally. However, when they were put under stress (e.g., changing cages) they did not exhibit the usual behaviors of exploration and rapid cancellation but remained calm and clean.

By examining the brain tissue of the mice, it was found that the particular blocked neurons showed direct connections to a portion of the brain that is known to be involved in arousal processes, which in turn sends signals to several other parts of the brain that determine wakefulness, alertness, and sometimes anxious or frantic behaviors. In these mice, this area of the brain remained quiet.

In essence, neurons whose functioning had been inhibited would usually produce a high level of activation to alert them that something potentially worrisome was happening. Deprived of this mechanism, the mice exhibited behaviors oriented toward tranquility.

In the case of people, performing deep breaths would play this calming role by inhibiting the activity of neurons that communicate with the arousal center of the brain.

To breath to be as you want to be

Did you know that breathing is useful to train self-control? It can  allow you to be relaxed, concentrated and activated according to the your goals at a specific time.

To learn more about how to do this, write to me.

Breathing coaching

These are the topics of my workshop titled:
Development of psychological skills in high potential athletes: 
breathing as a key tool to build mental skills programs
Online European Conference Psychology of Elite Sports Performance - November 21-22, 2020, Universidade Lusófona, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Self-control
  • The breathing: a long story
  • Breathing and human basic motivation
  • Breathing during the competitions
  • Breathing and cognitive processes
  • How to improve self-control through breathing
  • The breathing into the training programs
  • The practice

Why we don’t train the breath in sport

Workshop: How to improve the sport performance with breathing

Breathing has for too long been considered only as a natural event that the individual performs mechanically to ensure survival. Today the sport recognizes the breath a different relevance, to promote relaxation, to recover from stress during the race, to increase concentration and activation of the athletes in the most different situations of their activities. From training to competition, from physical to technical and psychological preparation, deep breathing and spontaneous breathing are useful to improve the effectiveness of the athletes’ commitment. Therefore, according to the requests of the different sports, it is possible to insert breathing training modalities. This theoretical-practical workshop aims to bring together experts in the different areas of sports science and athletes in introducing this practice within the usual training activities and competition routines.

The seminar will be held by Alberto Cei and Mike Maric, on February 19, at the Centro di Preparazione Olimpica Giulio Onesti, Largo G.Onesti 1, Rome. Program and registration


10 good reasons to take a deep breath

10 good reasons to learn to take a deep breath

  1. improves self-control in stress situations
  2. improves the management of physical and mental fatigue
  3. first action to take when you want to relax
  4. precedes the visualization of a technical or competition action
  5. reduces the mental tension and stimulates effective thoughts
  6. promotes muscle stretching during this phase of training
  7. reduces impulsive verbal responses
  8. facilitates immediate recovery after a high intensity exercise
  9. further deepens the focus on the task
  10. reduces pre-race or competitive activation if it’s the case

A common bias: the warmup is useful to avoid the injuries

There’s a lot of confusion among athletes in relation to the warmup function.

For some is practiced to avoid getting hurt.

For others it’s something to do well just before the races, but during the training they do not do ever in that way.

For almost everyone it’s a rather boring phase in which to prepare to start very well the competition.

It is often regarded like a school homework and it’s performed without conviction and with a reduced mental effort.

For example, almost no guy gets exhaling during the stretching. Let us remember that the first determines the later. Then bad stretching corresponds to a limited elongation and reduced muscle distension, with all the negative consequences coming if this kind of execution is repeated over time.