Breathing from the Stomach

A friend of mine often mentions breathing deeply from low in the body and the positive changes he has experienced. He has been practising for years and is trained to be an instructor.

It made me conscious that I often breath from my upper chest, shallow breathing. It’s an anxiety based habit and reinforces the message to the brain that I’m under threat. I was aware that I sometimes hold my breath too, another anxiety response.

Moving the breathing to my tummy, and practicing ‘diaphragmic breathing’, has been helping me to relax.

I do it often these days when I remember. In the morning waking up, walking along with the dog, during conversations, anytime really.

It has definitely made a difference and I feel more relaxed.

It is a tool I use along with other tools that help me build on resilience and to recover from a lifetime of living with anxiety. It is also a tool I use with my therapy clients.

Here’s what I do to explain it. I lie alongside the client on the floor with one hand on our chests and the other on our tummy. I ask the client to breath so that the hand on the tummy rises and falls, not the one on the chest.

You teach what you most need to learn huh!

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