Breathing, Meditation, Mindfulness and Relaxation

How to Belly Breathe for Instant Calm

Hi, I’m Katie from happitude,

Today, I’m going to teach you a technique which helps you to switch off and to be instantly more calmer. This is a belly breathing technique which you can do anywhere no matter who you’re with or what you’re doing.

Breathing is something that we do unconsciously – we never have to think about breathing. Thank goodness and this is obviously useful but this can also work against us if we are breathing in a way that makes us feel more panic or stress.

  • Many of us who have experienced panic attacks, stress, anxiety or even people who do sports or train tend to chest breathe, you know that short breath.
  • Even kids with their high energy and all their running around can take on this habit of chest breathing.
  • Most of you may notice as I’m talking now that you are breathing from the chest.

So even when you are relaxed but you are chest breathing its like your body is telling your mind that there is danger because its  doing that flight or fight breath.

Belly breathing is a simple and very effective technique to help you to instantly feel calmer and more grounded

So there are 3 things to note with belly breathing

1 – Do not change your breathing, or breath deeper, or count for so many seconds on an in-breath or worry about whether to breath in through the nose or mouth, or in though the mouth and out through the nose – In my experience some people may find that connecting to their breath and trying to change it can initially trigger a panic feeling, this maybe because they have experienced panic attacks in the past or it can be common for adults who have had health issues as a child or even asthma can feel panic when connecting to the breath and breathing deeply.

In fact some of my clients who have been to yoga classes and told to take deep breaths found it very uncomfortable and were unable to back to classes because of this.  if I breath in deeply right now I can almost feel the adrenaline going up my arms because a quick change in the breath like that can make your body signal to your mind that there is danger which then creates a feeling of panic

So, Remember, you do not need to take a deeper breath – Just let the breath just breathe itself.

2 – as you breathe – move the focus of attention, so imagine a spotlight that moves from your chest onto your belly. You could place your hand on your belly if it helps. Simply change the focus from the chest to the belly

3 – Think about the idea that when you breath in you are putting something into your body so the belly should expand on the in-breathe and deflate on the out-breath.

When I talk about this part of the exercise many people also become aware that they maybe holding their belly’s in because of gaining a few pounds or wearing tighter clothes around the belly. It’s something worth noticing if you are restricting your breath.

You can access breathing exercises in the happitude app.

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