Archive for Abdominal Breathing for Stress Relief

Peace of Mind and Your Breathing

How many times when things get out of control in your life has someone told you to take a deep breath? Well, it is good advice. When we are under stress, feeling anxious or angry, we tend to have short and shallow breathing, which only increases the muscle tension and limits our oxygen intake. This is one reason why in stressful situations, we tend to make poor decisions or have accidents as our breathing prevents our brain from getting enough oxygen to function at its best.

One of the breathing techniques that can help you relax, release anger and tension is also called diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing. It involves breathing from the abdomen, by fully filling your lungs with air on inhale and then fully emptying it out on exhale.

You can practice it by following these steps:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent to remove strain from your lower back.
  • If you are doing it the first time, place your hand on the center of your abdomen below your chest. Inhale slowly through your nose. While inhaling, your chest should rise lightly and your abdomen should expand and rise, making the hand on your abdomen slightly higher than your chest. This means you have drawn enough air into your lungs.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth by entirely emptying your lungs and let your abdomen fall.
  • Repeat this breathing pattern a few times and focus on your breath and technique.

If you have trouble falling asleep, practice this technique before your bed time.

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