Mark Spalek is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Director of Positive Blossom Limited. He runs a busy practice in Leicester, Positive Suggestions Hypnotherapy, based in the UK and is registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register (validated by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council). He is continually driving his therapeutic techniques forward through innovation, research and dedication.
What Is Diaphragmatic Breathing?
Diaphragmatic breathing is a deeply powerful way of breathing that promotes feelings of calmness and well-being within mind and body. It is excellent in helping us to become centred during stressful and anxiety provoking situations.
How To Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing
1. Find a safe, quiet place where you can sit or lie down.
2. Place your hands on each side of your belly button.
3. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and as you do so, imagine the diaphragm to be a balloon that inflates your stomach as you breath in. As your diaphragm moves upwards so your hands lift with it, the stomach expanding. Your chest should be still. Don’t try and force the diaphragm upwards by lifting your shoulders. This may be tricky at first until your body is relaxed, so keep with it until your stomach rises with each in breath.
4. Breathe out slowly through your mouth, allowing the stomach to return to its original position as the diaphragm relaxes.
5. Repeat the slow deep breathing several times.
When To Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing
In order to become an expert in the art of proper breathing, you will need to practice this technique on a daily basis. Start with practicing a few minutes each day and build up gently – daily practice can eventually make diaphragmatic breathing an unconscious process that can occur in any situation, whether it’s social, or high stakes such as a job interview or company presentation.
Always try to perform this breathing technique during stress and anxiety provoking situations, wherever they occur. You will find that eventually you will be so good at this breathing technique, that you may be able to breath any stress, anxiety or panic out of your system.
Why Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing is natural to us as babies, yet as we go through life certain stressful events and periods alter the pattern of our breathing and we simply fall into bad breathing habits.
Diaphragmatic breathing is the essence of building a solid, stress free core within ourselves, promoting health and vitality as well as calming our mind and body during stress.
Slow deep breathing in this way oxygenates the blood which allows our brain to release endorphins, powerful hormones that give us the sensation of losing stress. Give it a try!
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