Disclosure: This post or page may contain some affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and make a purchase from an affiliate site, I make a small percentage of commission from that purchase, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclaimers for more information.
Abdominal breathing is a simple practice with many benefits. Keep reading to discover how to practice abdominal breathing easily.
Breathing is one of the most important elements of our living being. Breathing happens naturally and without effort on our part. In fact, we rarely think about our breathing, yet it happens anyway. It shifts and changes during the day and also as we experience different emotions. This breathing is involuntary. For example, often when we are afraid we will hold our breath, or if we are feeling despair we might sigh. Our breathing might become heavy or laboured when we are tired. Our breathing is deeply affected by stress and anxiety.
However, we can elicit some control over our breathing whenever we decide. Parts of it can become voluntary. And this can allow us to become aware of our breath, and use our breathing to calm ourselves quickly when we are feeling anxious or stressed.
What is Abdominal Breathing?
Abdominal breathing is the foundational breath for almost all meditation or relaxation practices. It is also known as belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing. This is how babies breathe and it is how we breathe when we are asleep.
The diaphragm separates our chest and abdomen. Whenever we inhale, our diaphragm muscle tightens, and moves down, enabling air to fill our lungs. This pushes our abdominal organs downwards. When we exhale, our diaphragm relaxes and moves up as air is released from our lungs. The diaphragm is a crucial element in our core, interacting with organs such as our heart and lungs as we breathe.
What are the benefits of Abdominal Breathing?
Abdominal breathing massages the abdominal organs and can ease an anxiety attack quickly. Breathing in this way for 3 minutes each day is proven to have long-lasting benefits. This breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and promotes a state of calm by activating the parasympathetic nervous symptom. Drawing our attention to and focusing on our breathing supports us in feeling connected to our bodies as we are taking our attention and awareness away from our worries and stresses. This breathing creates relaxation.
One of the most important benefits of abdominal breathing is reducing stress. It can help you relax, meaning the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body will reduce. This breathing can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. It will slow your breathing and allow your muscles to relax. Abdominal breathing also improves your core muscle stability and development. It is a very powerful practice physically and mentally, with many benefits.
How to practice Abdominal Breathing
Practising abdominal breathing is very simple. Here is how to do it:
- Sit in a comfortable position, or lie flat on the floor, your bed or even your sofa. You could also lie down outside on the ground. You can also stand with feet comfortably spread apart and flat on the ground.
- Loosen and relax your shoulders.
- Put one hand on your chest.
- Put the other hand on your stomach.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose, ensuring your diaphragm is moving down. You should feel the air moving from your nose right down into your abdomen, causing your stomach, not your chest to expand.
- Purse your lips as you exhale slowly through your mouth. You may hear a “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
- Repeat this breath again, making sure that your stomach is moving outwards while your chest stays still. You should feel your hand on your hand on your stomach moving outwards as you inhale.
- Repeat this breath another 6 times at your own pace.
A short video on how to practice Abdominal Breathing
In this video we will learn what abdominal breathing is, the benefits of practising abdominal breathing in our daily lives, and how to practice abdominal breathing easily.
Will you try it?
Abdominal breathing is easy once you know how. It is one of the most simple breathing techniques to practice and you can use it anywhere. I would love to hear how you are practising your breathing; leave a comment and tell me if it is working for you.