BELLY BREATHING FOR RELAXATION
A very important part of our self-care is deep breathing. Deep breathing helps stimulate or wake up the lymph system in the whole body. You can do deep breathing at any time. This technique triggers a relaxation response in your body. If you practice this every day, your body will learn to go into a relaxed state more quickly and can keep your stress levels lower throughout the day.
Although breathing sounds it should be easy to do, diaphragmatic breathing takes practice. It is important that you feel comfortable with this type of breathing before you moved into a guided breathing exercise.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
The diaphragm is the most efficient muscle of breathing. It is a large dome shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs. Your abdominal muscles help your diaphragm and give you more power to empty lungs.
Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep breathing, is a proven relaxation technique. There are additional gastrointestinal benefits because the activation of the diaphragm using this technique allows for a gentle massage of the intestines and stomach, aiding with abdominal pain, urgency, bloating and constipation. Learn how to use diaphragmatic breathing below.
BELLY BREATHING TECHNIQUE
As you take a breath in and out you are going to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth slowing that breathing down. And letting that air fill you belly as it goes down your chest and expanding your belly. Take a small pause between each breath to avoid dizziness. Let’s begin by gently placing your hands on your chest and then on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through the nose, allowing the stomach to expand. Exhale through pursed lips, allowing the stomach to flatten.
1. Inhale fully
Place your hand on your belly. Breathe in slowly through your nose. You should feel your belly expand. Your chest will remain mostly still. First, put one hand on your chest and another hand on your stomach. Then take three normal deep breaths. Then you will feel the top hand moving as you breath. And when we are stressed that tends to be the type of breathing we engage in. In that chest breathing, you will notice as the shoulder rises and fall, and there is some tension in there too.
When we do diaphragmatic breathing we are going to push that breath down lower in to the stomach. Then instead of that chest moving, it is going to remain nice and steady while your lower hand rises and falls with your inhale and exhale.
2. Exhale Fully
As you exhale completely, your belly is going to get rid of all that air and completely exhale out. Your breath in will be about 4 seconds and your exhale will be a little longer at 6 seconds. Remember to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
3. Optional Visualization
Imagine that as you exhale, you are slowly lowering a feather to the ground with your breath. Focus on this image as you breath. Breathe this way for 5-10 breaths several times throughout the day. To get into a deep relaxed state, breath this way for 5-10 minutes.
Whether you are on a journey of healing or simply wanting to improve your well being, you can set yourself up for success by making a plan.
The belly breathing technique is easy to incorporate into activities that you already do, such as washing dishes, taking a shower, or commuting. This allows you to o the belly breathing daily, without needing extra time.
SMALL CHANGES LEAD TO BIG OUTCOMES OVER TIME
Notice if your chest is moving in harmony with your abdomen. Then you will begin to feel your shoulder relax, your jaw relaxes too, even your stomach starts to feel more comfortable. Nice heavy lips and warm relaxation circulating throughout the body. Just continue to breath in a rhythm that is comfortable to you.
Have you heard the saying, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step?” When trying to improve your wellness, it is easy to get discouraged by setting unrealistic goals or getting overly focused on the end result. If you start making small changes, over time they become second nature. Eventually, they lead to noticeable outcomes, such as more energy, improved mood, or better relationships with friends and family. You will sustain your motivation over time if your primary goal is to be consistent with these changes, rather than focusing on the long term outcomes you want to achieve.
After one month, if you made your change with ease, make another small change the next month! Before you know it, you will have traveled a thousand miles!