Diaphragmatic breathing is known to have helped people suffering from anxiety, stress, depression etc. Learn how this technique.

The common suggestion given when one is tense is, ‘to take a deep breath.’ We all do it, yes, but do we know how this practice helps us? Diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing is known to be beneficial for mental as well as physical health. Before we get into how diaphragmatic breathing is practised and how it’s useful, let us first look at what it is.

What is diaphragmatic breathing?

Diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing/ abdominal breathing is a technique in which you breathe in through your nose. This is done to make the air reach your diaphragm and then you’re supposed exhale through your mouth. The technique strengthens your diaphragm, which is dome-shaped muscle situated in your rib cage.

How is it practised?

  • Lie down in a comfortable position and make sure your knees are bent. Your head should have some some support like a pillow or cushion. Next, place one hand on your chest and the other on your diaphragm. This helps in keeping a check on whether you are breathing through your diaphragm or your chest.
  • Then breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth. When you do the latter, make sure you tighten your belly so that your diaphragm is contracted. This helps you release the air fully.
  • Keep repeating this a few times for results.

How is it beneficial for health?

  • Helps in oxygen supply: This technique of breathing automatically helps in supplying more oxygen to your cells and stimulates blood flow. Aside from this, diaphragmatic breathing also helps in reducing joint pain, as mentioned in this article by mindbodyandspiritwellbeing.com. It mentions that people who have fibromyalgia (a disease involving extreme joint pain), stated that diaphragmatic breathing reduced their pain.
  • Relieves stress and anxiety: Diaphragmatic breathing helps in stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body calm down. It instantly relieves stress and anxiety.
  • Lowers blood pressure: If you suffer from high BP, diaphragmatic breathing helps in reducing it. It also helps in preventing other ailments that come with high BP such as aneurysm, hypertension and coronary heart disease.
  • Improves digestion: Diaphragmatic breathing helps in strengthening the vagus nerve, which extends from your brainstem to your oesophagus, heart and lungs. Stimulating this nerve helps in digestion, regulation of heart rate, reducing anger and stress etc.
  • Helps one become more active: By not breathing correctly, we aren’t allowing enough oxygen to reach our cells, which in turn results in lethargy. Diaphragmatic breathing thus helps one become more active and energetic.
  • Improves posture: Diaphragmatic breathing strengthens your core muscles. This in turn, helps improve your posture.

So are you ready to practice diaphragmatic breathing for a healthier lifestyle?

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice but suggested techniques that you can try. If none of these seem to work, you may need an advanced form of treatment.

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