How to Use Diaphragm Breathing to Improve Health and Wellbeing

Diaphragm breathing can be a great tool in improving physical and mental health. This breathing exercise has many life changing benefits and can be done at anytime, from anywhere.

person diaphragm breathing
Deep breaths are an amazing habit to pick up – source

Breathing consciously has amazing benefits but depending on the technique, you can use the breath for different aspects of wellness. Some breathing exercises are good for sleep, some help manage stress, while others, like this one, help strengthen the body.

What is Diaphragm Breathing

Diaphragm breathing is a type of breath that engages the diaphragm, an important muscle in the body that allows you to breathe. The diaphragm contracts and flattens when you inhale, creating a vacuum that pulls air into the lungs.

Also called abdominal breathing or belly breathing, diaphragm breathing can help you train your lungs and improve the quality of breathing.

Benefits of Diaphragm Breathing

Diaphragm breathing can help strengthen the diaphragm muscle. This in turn will lower the energy and oxygen demand of the body while breathing, making it perfect for relaxation. It can also lower blood pressure, improve mental health, and relax the body.  

Symptoms of anxiety and stress are reduced as deep breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the body responsible for relaxation and calm.

It can even help manage asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as it strengthens the elasticity of the lungs.

The physical effects of strengthening the core and diaphragm will allow your body to perform better during exercise as well. Breath influences body temperature, metabolic processes, heart rate, and even food digestion as well.

Deep breaths also stimulate the lymphatic system, the part of the body that moves lymph throughout the system. This system pumps throughout the body, like the circulatory system. It is responsible for immune response, cleansing toxins, and delivering nutrients. 

Unlike the circulatory system, however, the lymphatic system does not have the heart to pump it. Instead, breathing fuels this system, making diaphragm breathing a great tool in increasing overall immune response, nutrient absorption, and toxin removal.

Diaphragm Breathing How to do it

Here is a simple guide on how to practice diaphragm breathing.

  1.  Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. 
  2. Ensure your shoulders are relaxed and shifted away from your ears. 
  3. Place one hand on the abdomen just below the ribs and the other on the chest. 
  4. Take a deep breath through your nose making the abdomen rise, the chest should not move.
  5. Let the air out of your mouth slowly. 
  6. The goal is to take 6 to 10 slow breaths per minute.
  7. Repeat several times for effective results.

Tips for Breathing Well

Here are some quick tips to make the exercise easier and more effective!

Use it Daily

For more improvement, try to use this exercise daily. This will help you see results faster.

Morning and Night

Incorporate this type of breathing into either your morning routine or nighttime routine. This will help set your day up for success or end your day well.

Take at Least 6 Breaths

Take enough breaths, usually 6 or more, to feel a physical effect in the body. The mind should calm, the heart rate should fall, and the muscles should relax.

The Takeaway

Diaphragm breathing is an amazing breathing technique that can improve physical and mental wellbeing. It reduces heart rate, decreases stress chemicals, and lowers blood pressure. Mentally, it can help manage anxiety and stress, while improving immune system response.

Managing stress is highly important as too much stress is the cause of many physical and mental illnesses. Excess stress can lead to an imbalance in the body detrimental to overall health. 

Remember that health starts from within. Incorporating self-care habits, doing breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or exercising are small additions to your day that can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. Don’t forget to always strive to improve, not perfect, fitness and mental wellbeing. 

Remember the importance of the gut microbiota, which plays a role in muscle development, mental wellbeing, and even the condition of the skin. Unbalanced gut microbiota may even lead to a compromised immune system. Learn all about taking care of the gut here for free with these resources today!

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