Do you live with extreme stress? If so, you probably understand the symptoms. Your heart starts pounding, your mind goes racing, and you’re unable to control your thoughts and emotions. If you experience these symptoms, you’re not the only one. 33% of individuals say they live with extreme stress. There are a myriad of different medications and other methods to relieve stress. But are you the type of person who prefers holistic healing methods? An effective and easy way to combat stress is by practicing simple breathing exercises, such as diaphragm breathing. Correct breathing techniques help induce relaxation. Deep and diaphragmic breathing sends messages to the brain to calm us down, helping release anxiety and tension. Here are the benefits of deep breathing and how you can use breathing for stress management.
The Benefits of Breathing for Stress Management
Diaphragmic breathing offers many physical and emotional benefits. But if you struggle with anxiety, you may notice diaphragmic breathing exercises help calm you down. Deep breathing is the best way to experience a full oxygen exchange. Full oxygen exchange means you’re trading oxygen for carbon dioxide. This process helps stabilize blood pressure and slows your heartbeat, causing a relaxing sensation for both your body and your brain. In addition, deep breathing ensures your lower lungs receive a full share of oxygen.
How to Breathe from the Diaphragm
Start by sitting or lying down. Ensure you’re comfortable. To ensure you can feel your belly rising, put your hand on your belly (just below your rib cage). Picture your nostrils or mouth on one end of a string and your abdomen on the other. Your breath connects these two. Take a deep breath, ideally through your nose (you can also breathe from your mouth if this is easier). You should feel your abdomen rise as you inhale. After your abdomen expands, start exhaling. You should feel your abdomen falling back to its normal position.
How to Create a Diaphragmic Breathing Routine
You should breathe from the diaphragm as often as you can. But if you’re used to shallow chest breathing, diaphragmic breathing can be a challenge. The best way to remember diaphragmic breathing is to create a routine. Start by devoting a specific time of day to diaphragmic breathing. Most do this exercise either first thing in the morning and/or right before they fall asleep. Get in a comfortable position. It’s recommended you’re either sitting or lying down. Start by taking one breath and then another. Find a rhythm. Once you find your rhythm, breathe for 10-20 minutes. Try and avoid as many stressors and distractions.
Other Situations to Use Diaphragmic Breathing
Should you only do your breathing routine once or twice a day? This is only a minimum recommendation. You should diaphragm breathe as often as you can. But there are specific situations that call for diaphragmic breathing. Common examples include meditation, exercise, prayer, yoga, singing, and playing certain musical instruments.
Follow These Steps for a Stress-Free Life
Deep or diaphragmic breathing is a great stress management exercise. Diaphragmic breathing helps cause full oxygen circulation that helps lower your heartbeat and regulate your blood pressure. This causes both physical and mental relaxation. Start by perfecting diaphragmic breathing and then make it a normal part of your day.