It’s a great feeling to be able to cope with stresses as they surface so that we can feel amazing and well. However, if you constantly feel lousy and stressed because you don’t have techniques or mechanisms to help you cope, I’ve got a simple one for you that works wonders; diaphragmatic breathing. And please, don’t underestimate it. It’s the best breaths you will take.
I believe that we should all be practicing diaphragmatic breathing in order to feel better and calmer.
I was inspired to share this again because last week I was interviewed on a show and I shared breathing as a self-care technique. The host later told me that one of her listeners took the advice, did the breathing, and got rid of a headache she was having all day.
That my beauties is the power of diaphragmatic breathing. It’s the reason I stress less.
I’ve shared breathing techniques before, including this one. And I cannot emphasize enough how important this type of breathing is for wellbeing.
If you do nothing else to honor your body each day. Do this. I promise you, it’s worth it in so many ways.
Diaphragmatic breathing quickly lowers adrenalin, your body’s short-term stress hormones. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and repair system), which is responsible for keeping you calm, burning body fat, helping you cope and influences what and how much you eat.
When breathing diaphragmatically, on the inhale, your ribs move up and out allowing a flood of oxygen to enter the lungs, and during the exhale, your ribs move down and in, pushing a lot of the toxic carbon dioxide out of your body.
To breathe diaphragmatically:
♦ Lay on the floor – or on your bed – with your knees slightly bent or sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
♦ Lay one hand on your chest, just over you heart, and the other hand on your abdomen.
♦ Use your diaphragm to breathe in through the nose. Feel you hands rise as your lung fill up with oxygen.
♦ Relax your diaphragm and allow your stomach to fall, pushing out the oxygen from your lungs.
The benefits of diaphragmatic breathing:
♦ Increased oxygen to the lungs and ultimately the cells of your body, which results in more oxygen production, and that translates into more work being done by your cells for your body. It also communicates to your cells that you are safe.
♦ Stronger diaphragm muscles.
♦ Slower breathing rate.
This may be challenging at first, and you’ll find that laying down allows you to do the diaphragmatic breathing, more effectively. In addition, when you stand, it’ll be a bit more difficult, and may require some practice. but, whatever you do, don’t give up, because the benefits will definitely be rewarding to your overall heath.
So whatever you are going through, don’t forget to breathe, and of course, take good care of you.
I’d love to hear from you. How are you keeping calm?
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com