Diaphragmatic Breathing – What could be more natural than breathing? It may sound surprising, but most people don’t know how to breathe.
Which is a shame because proper breathing can do wonders for stress and digestion.
Not only that but breathing incorrectly can produce tension and lead to exhaustion.
The truth (unfortunately) is that most of us are shallow breathers.
Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep breathing is breathing that is done by contracting the diaphragm, a muscle located horizontally between the thoracic cavity and abdominal cavity. Air enters the lungs and the chest rises and the belly expands during this type of breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is also known scientifically as eupnea, which is a natural and relaxed form of breathing in all mammals. Eupnea occurs in mammals whenever they are in a state of relaxation, i.e. when there is no clear and present danger in their environment. –Wikipedia
Belly or diaphragmatic breathing is a completely different way to get oxygen to your cells from a physiological standpoint.
This breathing is deep; it causes your belly to push out rather than your chest to rise up.
This breath is accomplished primarily by the contraction of your diaphragm, a muscular umbrella at the bottom of your ribcage that separates your chest and abdomen – it pulls air in and gently massages your internal organs in a rhythmic way.
This is the way children breath, and it’s how we were meant to breath pretty much all of the time.
This triggers the parasympathetic nervous system for rest and repair.
A great ratio is 1 count in, 4 counts hold, 2 counts out. So this may look like, count for 4 in, hold for 16, breathe out for 8.
I challenge you to try it – I bet you will actually feel your stress levels diminish after just a few deep breaths!
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