learning to breathing properly, calmly
March 21, 2011 1 Comment
Sometime, somehow, growing up.. I forgot how to breathe, properly. I don’t know why or how, but Like a lot of people I forgot how to breathe, properly.
Most healthy Infants know how to breathe, they breathe using their abdomen, naturally. Later many people, like I did apparently, change to breathing with their chest muscles, unconsciously. Not only is this less efficient, this upper body breathing, is prone to feeling anxious or stressed, frequently.
When we are startled or frightened we gasp. This is a sudden inhale of air, using the chest muscles. Some believe this is part of our “Fight or Flight” anxiety nervous system (known as the Sympathetic Nervous System), where quick gulps of air are taken in by the lungs in order to have energy to react to whatever has frightened the organism.
It is possible that in are stressful modern world, Some of us slowly forget how to breathe properly and calmly.
Learning to breathe properly again.
Our bodies use quick inhales (gasp) to prepare for a “fight or flight” in Anxiety.
However our bodies relax on the exhales of our breath.
Focusing ones breath on long exhales, expelling air out from the diaphragm is more efficient and more calming and natural.
A Diaphragmatic Breathing exercise
(Breathing from the Belly)
- Sit on a chair with back straight, Lay down, or find a comfortable place to relax and breathe.
- Place your attention on the belly (if your mind wonders, let the thoughts go and return attention to your belly)
- Expel your breath completely from your diaphragm. Feel your belly collapse inward.
- Let yourself inhale. inhaling will happen naturally without effort.
- Fell your belly rise.
- Repeat this for a couple minutes, or as long as you like.
- Repeat this short exercise regularly
The goal is to learn to breath properly, unconsciously, from the diaphragm again with long exhales, just as we did when we came into this world.
Properly breathing: breathing from below the thoracic diaphragm or “breathing from the belly” is an aid to living more calmly; and less anxious and irritable.
Life can be stressful as it is, there is no need to add anxiety with gasping.
(left: image of respiratory system, wikimedia: attr. Theresa Knott, no affiliation with this site.)
Learning to breath properly, has helped in my stress management, I learned that I enjoy breathing, as well. :)
More breathing exercises listed on the Breathing Tab of this blog.