Breathe to relieve stress

Breathe to relieve stress

In this uncertain time, I am hearing lots of people talking about how stressed out they are.  You need to breathe!

A while back, I sat in on a stress management seminar and they talked about proper breathing. 

Back when I was in high school chorus we learned about the importance of proper breathing – from your diaphragm to be able to get the best breath for singing.  Who knew that abdominal breathing was also a stress reliever?  Grin

If you have never heard of abdominal breathing, it is a method of taking your breath all the way into your stomach, instead of just into your lungs.  Take a moment and pay attention to how you are breathing.  Is your chest just moving up and down as you breathe?  That would be “fight or flight breathing.”  Is your stomach moving in and out as you breathe?  That is a deep, relaxing, cleansing breathe.

Meditation and yoga incorporate abdominal breathing.  It is a great way to calm yourself down.  You’ve heard, “Take a breath and count to ten”?  It’s the same theory.  Deep breathing is supposed to be relaxing.

As I was trying to explain the process of abdominal breathing to someone, they said it “felt funny”.  Since I have known about it since… back in the day… it isn’t difficult for me to concentrate and breathe “properly.”  However, for someone who has never done abdominal breathing, I imagine it does feel funny and takes some practice to get used to.

I did a quick internet search to see if I could find a “visual example” and came upon this video which does an excellent job explaining it.  Watch the video and give it a try.  Practice proper breathing so that it becomes second nature.  It truly can help ease stress and improve sleep.

There’s even a “belly breathing” video for kids, by Sesame Street!  Check it out!

Have a relaxing day!