I want you to pause for a second and be mindful of your breath. Are your breaths shallow? Are you holding your breath? Are you hyperventilating? Or are you taking deep belly breaths? Asking if you are breathing may seem like a silly question, but you’d be surprised to know how many people are not taking deep breaths.
If you’ve never heard of belly breathing, than today is your lucky day because I’m about to break it down for you. Belly breathing allows you to take deeper breaths which helps lower your blood pressure, increases alpha brain waves, decrease anxiety symptoms, and releases serotonin. Belly breathing is amazing for anxiety! Panic attacks? Belly breathe!
Are you a shallow chest breather or a deep belly breather?
- Sit in a chair, with a straight but comfortable posture
- Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach (below your rib cage and above your belly button)
- Take a few “normal” breaths. Which hand moves? If you are not sure which hand is moving, you can sit in front of a mirror or ask someone to watch you.
- If your top hand is moving, you my friend are a chest breather. If your bottom hand moves, you are a belly breather (yay!)
Now lets practice belly breathing together. Slowly breathe in through your nose and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Feel your stomach rise and fall as you breathe. Imagine your belly filling up like a balloon as you inhale and deflating as you exhale. With each breathe, notice how your body feels more and more relaxed. I suggest you practice this 1 minute, 3 times a day. If you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed, belly breathe for 1 minute. I promise you it will help!
If you are struggling with belly breathing, send me a message through the contact form and I will share tricks on how to retrain your breathe.