Breathe Your Way Through the Day

Breathe Your Way Through the Day

Diaphragm breathing or as it is sometimes called, belly breathing, is a wonderful way to relax our body and our nervous system. Our diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle located under our rib cage that moves our lungs as we breathe.

 

With our busy lives and spending so much time hunched over phones and computers, most of us have stopped using our diaphragm to breathe, instead, taking short shallow breaths. This shallow breathing leads to tight neck and shoulder muscles, decrease in oxygen due to lungs not filling completely and can increase feelings of anxiety.

 

When we are stressed our body is in a sympathetic state (fight or flight), prolonged time spent in this stressed state can cause many symptoms including; headaches, digestive issues, hormone imbalances and high blood pressure.

 

Alternatively when we use our diaphragm to breathe our nervous system moves into a state relaxation, known as a parasympathetic response. Including diaphragm breathing as part of your day can help to limit the effect of stress on your body.

 

Try diaphragm breathing now and see how you feel:

  • Place both hands right above your belly button near your lower ribs and diaphragm, if you can, close your eyes.
  • Relaxing your neck and shoulder muscles, then, take 5 deep breaths with a 3-second inhale and 6-second exhale.
  • Feel the movement under your hands.

Repeat this breathing sequence any time you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or to help you sleep and see how good you feel!

 

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