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Friday, January 27, 2012

Stress Management: Deep Breathing

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Deep Breathing: Good Stress Reliever

Breathing is not only important for living but also to lift up a good mood and keep performing at your best.
Deep breathing is an improved form of breathing that you can use as your normal breathing mode and do use it particularly, from time to time, to ease stress and tension. It gives your health and energy a boost.
Under stressful situations most people resort to shallow breathing where as in those specific situations, deep breathing is recommended.

Types of Breathing

There are two types of breathing:

1. Chest breathing
2. Belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing

Difference between Chest and Belly Breathing

Put one hand on your upper abdomen near the waist and the other on the middle of your chest. As you breathe, notice which hand raises the most.

If you are breathing in a relaxed manner, you will find that your belly will expand and contract more with each breathing cycle. You are inhaling more air and so more oxygen.

On the other hand, if you are stressed, you are likely to breathe from your chest. You may not see your hand on your abdomen raising. This indicates that you are resorting to chest breathing. Your breathing will be shallow now. A large number of people get used to this type of breathing as their day-to-day normal breathing as a consequence of modern day stresses.

Diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing is called deep breathing. It is an act of expanding your belly and thereby allowing the diaphragm to move down. That creates more room for the lungs to expand rather than only through chest wall expansion and movement of the rib cage.

Due to the lung expansion being lower on the body as opposed to higher up, belly breathing is referred to as deep breathing. The chest breathing (higher lung expansion of rib cage breathing) is referred to as shallow breathing.

Belly (or Deep) Breathing Superiority

Belly breathing that is marked by expansion of the abdomen rather than the chest when breathing is supposed to be healthier and more complete in terms of air and oxygen intake.

A large section of people use it as a therapy for reducing their stress levels and becoming healthier.
As the belly breathing is thought to therapeutic, one can as well make it a normal way of breathing.

Belly Breathing Procedure

1. You can do it while sitting or lying down.
2. Put one hand on your chest and other hand on your belly.
3. Inhale slowly through your nose, draw air into the lungs expanding your belly and then, filling your chest. Feel your stomach expand with your hand.
4. Exhale slowly through slightly parted lips while squeezing your belly.
5. Pause for a few seconds and repeat it 5 to 6 times or what is comfortable.

Benefits of Deep Breathing

Deep breathing practiced a few times during a day and particularly when you are feeling tensed and stressed may bring in the following benefits to you.

1. May elevate moods.
2. May release tension.
3. May relax mind and body.
4. Therefore, may help bring in clarity of thoughts and focus the mind.
5. Then, may help in sorting out the emotional tangles.
6. May release toxins and detoxify.
7. May improve quality of blood.
8. May strengthen the lungs.
9. May make the heart stronger.
10. May improve cellular regeneration.
11. May strengthen the immune system.
12. May improve the nervous system.
13. May massage organs.
14. May help relieve pain.
15. May increase and tone up muscles.
16. May strengthen weak abdominal and intestinal muscles.
17. May improve assimilation of food and increase digestion.
18. May assist in weight control.
19. May help improve posture that in turn has many advantages.
20. May enhance overall energy level.
21. Thus, may improve stamina.

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  1. interesting info....thanks for sharing !!!

  2. I agree immensely, deep breathing is very important for managing stress anger and acheiving a state of calm.