Find Your Way to Relaxation With Belly Breathing

By: Tara Cousineau, PhD

Find Your Way to Relaxation with Belly Breathing BP
Share with your community

It may sound weird, but the simple act of breathing is an easy way to restore the body to a calm state. Belly breathing – or diaphragmatic breathing (breathing through your diaphragm) – is especially helpful. When you’re stressed out or anxious, a typical reaction is to start taking shorter breaths. Think about speaking in front of an audience, asking someone for a date, or any situation that might make you nervous. It’s likely that you held your breath, took short breaths, and you may have started to sweat or feel your heart thump. That’s a typical stress response.

By adulthood, this pattern of upper chest breathing may well turn into an unconscious habit. (Think about all the stressed-out adults you know.) Literally, you could shortchange your body with this inefficient way of circulating 02.

Easy breathing

Here are three easy steps to boost your oxygen flow and de-stress:

  1. Lie on your back and close your eyes. Bring awareness to your regular breathing pattern.
  2. Rest your hands above your belly button with fingertips touching gently or place a book (like a phone book) on your belly.
  3. Take a long inhale and notice your belly rise up as you fill your lower lungs. Exhale slowly. You’ll notice your belly sink back toward your spine as you release your breath.

Now, concentrate on taking deeper, longer breaths and let your exhale linger a moment or two longer than the inhales.

Do this breathing exercise for several minutes or longer and notice any changes. Better yet, practice this every day and before any situation that makes you nervous.

You can try variations of this exercise. Imagine that all the stress and tension is leaving your body with every exhale. Or visualize yourself on a warm beach or taking in an awesome mountaintop view while you breath in and out slowly. Soon you’ll feel more relaxed, grounded, and better able to take on new challenges or deal with daily hassles.

And guess what? Your breath is something you never leave home without. Just remember to use it.

This article is republished from Bodimojo’s website here with their permission.

Photo by Cynthia Magana on Unsplash

Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter on the latest industry updates, Rethink happenings, and resources galore. Simply follow the link to the footer and enter your email.

Related Resources

On this episode, Angela and Kristin discuss some tips and tricks to a productive summer....
As we recognize the importance of Mental Health Awareness Month, a topic that does not...
Businesses thrive when employees choose to do innovative work in collaborative spaces. This traditional view...

Learn more about Rethink

Take care of your people with RethinkCare’s evidenced-based solutions that support the well-being your entire employee base in all aspect of their lives - from personal to parenting, and professional

Build strong school communities and healthy, safe learning environments for all your students with RethinkEd’s evidence-based strategies and technology solutions across SEL, Special Ed, Behavioral & Training

Start, grow and manage your practice with Rethink’s workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical best practice tools that help you optimize outcomes and operations

Support your members and your provider networks with Rethink’s solutions that support autism care management across your network while offering unique value-added services to your members.

logo rethinkfirst white

Together We’re Powering Potential

Transforming the Behavioral Health landscape requires scalable platforms that address a broad range of mental, emotional, and wellness needs. At Rethink First we are proud to work across the continuum of care to help individuals and the people they care about live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

The leading behavioral and mental health enterprise platform to support working parents, caregivers and their families.

Award-winning solutions empower districts and their educators to improve outcomes and wellness for all tiers of students and to build healthy and safe learning environments.

Fully integrated workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical tools help behavioral health organizations optimize outcomes and operations.

Patent-pending clinical solutions and member engagement services streamline autism care management processes and support outcomes for health plans, providers, and members.