In need of a quick way to calm down/cool off? Not sure why that is in question form because I am pretty sure EVERYONE could use something like this! In today’s post, I am going to be sharing a quick breathing exercise using diaphragmatic breathing. I am ashamed to admit this, but I had never heard of diaphragmatic breathing until my mid-twenties. Shame on me.
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Breathing is important (duh). It’s the first thing you do when you are born and the last thing you do before you die, so I’d say it’s damn important! Also, doing a quick diaphragmatic breathing exercise after an intense workout is necessary. So, listen up!
Diaphragmatic breathing is breathing through your diaphragm muscle, which is located right below your lungs. If you take yoga, you are probably familiar with diaphragmatic breathing aka Pranayama. When you breathe through your diaphragm, your breaths are slow and deep, taking longer to inhale and exhale, which delivers a larger amount of oxygen to the bloodstream. According to Sam Varner, diaphragmatic breathing reduces the risk factors for heart disease; such as lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), raising good cholesterol (HDL), lowering blood pressure and balancing out blood sugars. These are just a few of the health benefits related to deep/diaphragmatic breathing.
Here is a quick breathing exercise:
- Lie down on your back or sit.
- Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.
- Begin to inhale and count to five in your head slowly, then hold for a 3-count, and finally exhale while counting to five. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Here is the key: your hand on your abdomen should expand. Your hand on your chest should stay still.
Next time you are feeling anxious or worked up about something, do this quick breathing exercise using your diaphragm and I promise you will cool off immediately and feel much more relaxed. Better yet, try to be mindful of your breathing throughout the day for the next week or so. Are you a chest breather or an abdominal breather? If you find out you are a chest breather, then this post is for you! Maybe do this exercise in the morning when you wake up and in the evening before you go to bed. See what benefits you see from just breathing correctly. It might surprise you!
Enjoy the rest of your short week! Happy Breathing 😉