Updated: Aug 7
Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breath is a breath technique that is used in meditation, and can be used when you are feeling stressed to calm the body down. How: Begin by sitting in a chair with one hand on your stomach, just below your rib cage (so you can feel the diaphragm move while you breath). Take a deep, slow breath in through your nose and feel your belly expand, your hand should move outwards. Then exhale fully and feel your belly move towards your spine. This communicates to your body that you are safe. It is truly such a simple thing, and using diaphragm breathing will help your body feel calm, activating the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is where we want our body to be the majority of the time. Having the PSN activated also strengthens your immune system.
Stress has a place in our lives, it can motivate us when there is a deadline for example, but when you live the majority of your life in a stressed state, your body is in the "fight or flight mode" (which is activated by the sympathetic nervous system), which wears your body down and will cause disease.
Practice this breath technique throughout your day, especially when you have feelings of stress, and you will be giving your body some much needed love and self care!