Hope you had a good week!
I had some questions from a few people about diaphragmatic breathing.
When we are born, we belly breathe and more importantly, we breathe through our nose. Why does this change? Several reasons come into play.
Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system leading to shallow, rapid, and abnormal breathing. Have you ever been around someone that was going 100 miles a minute or someone upset, sure we all have or we have been that person? Take note next time how they are breathing.
Encourage them to slow down, breath through the nose, you will see their whole demeanor change. You can pull them out of fight or flight and into a more relaxed state.
Try focusing on only nose breathing, no matter what you do. The nose produces nitric oxide, which improves your lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen.
Nitric oxide increases the ability to transport oxygen throughout your body, including inside your heart. It relaxes vascular smooth muscle and allows blood vessels to dilate.
Nitric oxide is also antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial. It helps the immune system to fight infections.
Here’s what I recommend you do, either sit or lie down, put your hand on your belly, breathe in through your nose, feel your belly rise.
If you feel your shoulders come up towards your ears or chest expand, stop, reset the mind, and continue to try again. Take a light breath through your nose and think about the belly expanding. This can take several tries in one session, be kind to yourself, and continue to practice.
Still to this day I struggle with diaphragmatic breathing. But the effects of my breath have lowered my anxiety, stress, how I handle situations and certainly has impacted my performance in a workout.
Again, it is so simple to do, it is simple not to do.
Hope this helps, be intentional daily focusing on your breathwork. Try to do this first thing in the morning, mid-day on a lunch break, or in the evening before bed.
Let me know what you experience!
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