In today’s world, thanks to our flat-stomach-obsessed society, women often hold their tummy in to look thinner. This habit, along with stress, can lead to shallow chest breathing increasing stress on the body and the mind.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a technique helping deliver the oxygen to the belly and throughout the body. It has the ability to quieten and calm our minds.
Give it a go right now. While you are sitting there put one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Firstly just feel where what moves when you breathe your natural rhythm. Pause and notice.
Breathe in and try to get the air as far down into your body as you can. You don’t need to necessarily breathe any bigger, just deeper. Pause and notice.
Keep the focus on the belly and see if you can open the belly up to receive the next new breath. Pause and notice.
You may find that your body becomes a little heavier. That’s ok, that’s just the tension leaving your body as you release the hold you may have on your body that you didn’t even know about. Just continue to breathe into the belly.
After a minute or so open your eyes. You may feel a little different, perhaps calmer. You may have noticed that while you were focused on the breath going into the belly your mind slowed down a bit.
The beauty of diaphragmatic breathing is that it can be practised anywhere, anytime, and no one will know you are actually doing it. You might like to close your eyes, but you don’t have to. Whenever you sit during your day, use it as a prompt to practise one minute of diaphragmatic breathing. A minute will go by very quickly, so then you might like to make it 2 minutes or even 3.
In three minutes your mind will be calmer and you will be able to move into the next moment of your day a bit easier and a bit more focused.