What is Abdominal (or diaphragmatic) breathing?
- Abdominal breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is a breathing technique that involves using the diaphragm, a large dome-shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs, to facilitate deep breathing. When we inhale during abdominal breathing, the diaphragm contracts and moves downward, which allows the lungs to expand and fill with air. As we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and moves upward, pushing air out of the lungs.
- Abdominal breathing is often recommended as a way to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall breathing efficiency. By using the diaphragm to draw in more air with each breath, we can increase the amount of oxygen delivered to the body’s cells, which can help to promote better circulation and improve overall health.
- In addition, abdominal breathing can help to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s relaxation response. This can help to reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and improve overall emotional wellbeing.
- Abdominal breathing can be practiced in a variety of positions, including lying down, sitting, or standing. To practice abdominal breathing, place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand and your chest to rise slightly. Exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing your abdomen to contract and your chest to fall. Repeat this process several times, focusing on deep, slow breaths that engage the diaphragm.