Have you ever watched an infant breathing? Their bellies expand with every breath. We all used to breathe like that, but for many of us, this is a long lost skill. And did you know, belly breathing is one of the simplest and most powerful stress management technique you can use?
Our breathing pattern is directly related to our stress level. When we get more and more tense, our breathing gets more and more shallow, taking place mostly in our chest. Conversely when we are relaxed, we breathe more deeply and fully. It is nearly impossible to be tense and breathe deeply.
Teach yourself to breathe more deeply:
1. Lie one your back, placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly
2. Now, just breathe normally and become aware of your breath
3. After you feel you are aware of your breath, exhale as much as possible
4. On the next inhale, focus on breathing through your nose and trying to filter the air deep into your abdomen, trying to keep your chest and shoulders as still as possible
5. When your breathe out, keep your lips pursed and try to make the exhale twice as long as your inhale
Once your feel you have mastered belly breathing lying down, try incorporating the technique sitting up. The skill will become easier and easier the more you practice.
Leave a comment: Have you ever tried belly breathing? If so, did you notice a reduction in your current stress level?
Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
-Alicia and Nikki