Deep diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, is a simple technique that can which can lower your stress levels, reduce your blood pressure, and help regulate your nervous system. It is often used during or prior to meditation. It is also recommended if you are feeling panicky or anxious as it is so effective at calming the mind.
How to use this technique:
Sit or lie down in a comfortable, quiet place.
Relax your shoulders down, away from the ears.
Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
Breathe in through your nose until you can’t take in anymore air.
Feel the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, you want your belly to fill with air and get bigger like a balloon.
Exhale slowly through the nose or mouth. Feel your stomach gently contracting.
Repeat these steps 5-10 times.
Benefits of Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing
Deep diaphragmatic breathing has a wide range of benefits. It helps you relax, lowering the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body. Other benefits are:
Lowers your heart rate
Helps to lower your blood pressure
Increasing how much oxygen is in your blood.
Makes it easier for your body to release gas waste from your lungs
It slows your rate of breathing which helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (the 'rest and digest' system)
It improves your core muscle stability
It improves your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise.
It lowers your chances of injuring or wearing out your muscles.
And it gets better! You can modify this technique slightly to help improve your lymphatic health!
This is a great video which explains how to do this breathing specifically to improve your lymphatic system.