Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s a common phrase to hear in any stressful situation. Breathing is the way we let oxygen into our bodies and release carbon dioxide. It helps calm us. However, diaphragmatic or deep breathing is breathing intentionally to strengthen your diaphragm. Let’s look at why you might consider incorporating this into your daily routine.
Breathe More, Worry Less
One of the most common reasons for deep breathing is to help with stress. However, diaphragmatic breathing can help with more than that.
Some are the main benefits are:
- It helps decrease your blood pressure and heart rate
- Lowers PTSD symptoms
- Can strengthen your core muscles
- Helps relax you
- It can lower your cortisol levels
Additionally, diaphragmatic breathing is a necessity for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). COPD is a common lung disease with two main forms- chronic bronchitis and emphysema. However, many people have a combination of both of these. Since COPD is known for weakening your diaphragm, breathing exercises make the perfect way to help strengthen it. According to Healthline, it can help in a few ways:
- It helps force out air buildups that weaken your lungs and adds oxygen to your bloodstream
- With COPD, your lungs lose elasticity, consequently, your body will use different muscles to try and help your breath. This keeps you from getting enough oxygen. These breathing exercises help increase your lungs elasticity and increase the flow of oxygen.
How to Diaphragmatic Breathe:
When you practice diaphragmatic breathing your intercostal muscles rise to help your diaphragm let air in strengthening the muscles. Heres how to practice diaphragmatic breathing:
- Lay flat on your back and bend your knees.
- Place one hand on just below your rib and the other hand on your chest.
- Breathe in through your nose slowly. You should notice the hand on your stomach moving but the hand on your chest should be still.
- As you exhale through your lips, make sure that you are tightening your abdominal muscles. They should be falling inward.
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