Deep belly breathing also called diaphragmatic breathing is a great technique to use to improve many aspects of health. You wouldn't think you could breathe the wrong way but actually, you can. We become complacent and lazy with our breathing and we tend to adopt mostly shallow breathing which prevents the flow of fresh, lush oxygen reaching all of our organs. And we all know oxygen means life!
The deep belly breathing technique works to activate the diaphragm, slow the breath, encourage oxygen and blood flow and it creates a focus for the mind on the breath rather than our busy, racing thoughts. It only takes a few minutes but instantly creates a sense of calm and relaxation making it great for anyone suffering from anxiety, nervous tension, stress, insomnia and digestive imbalances such as constipation, diarrhea or intestinal pain.
I choose to practice this each night when I go to bed to help relax me and increase my sleep quality, and also when I wake up in the morning to calm my mind and prepare me for the day ahead. I also use it throughout the day as needed if I'm feeling a little stressed, anxious or uncomfortable in my belly. Below are the steps I use to successfully practice belly breathing - You can do this lying down or sitting up in a chair:
Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest (so you can really feel the movement of your breath)
Take a deep breath in through your nose, counting to 4 and feel your belly expand. You want to make sure your breath is deep enough to fill your belly not just your lungs
Hold the breath for 4 counts
Slowly release the breath out through your mouth (with pursed lips if you can) for 4 or more counts, feeling your belly deflate and totally relax
Repeat this process for 10 breaths
It might take you a few breaths to get the hang of it but once you do, you will love it! I hope you find this helpful and get a deep and restful sleep tonight.
Yours in health & healing...