I, Courtney, will kick off 2020 by talking about your breath. Conscious breathing is a big topic, so for today’s tip I will keep it to diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing.
Growing up I held my breath as a coping mechanism when anxiety hit, which was pretty much all the time. As an adult, I had to learn how to breathe consciously by doing certain exercises in a class (yep, had to go to a class to learn to breathe) and YOU GUYS....first class I had to walk out because I had a panic attack.
Fast forward to many yoga trainings, mindfulness classes, breathing exercises later, it is one of the best things I have done for myself. As we all know, habits are hard to shake, I still find
myself taking shallow breaths, retaining my breath, breathing from my chest, etc. but each day I take a few minutes to focus, retrain, and practice.
Diaphragmatic breathing has numerous benefits, one of which is reducing stress. Who doesn’t need that? For a whole list of benefits and to learn about the diaphragm muscle, go to https://www.healthline.com/health/diaphragmatic-breathing
It’s simple, free, and powerful. Here’s what to do:
Laying down, prop your knees up with feet on the floor or put a pillow under the knees. You can also do this sitting.
Place one hand on the chest and one hand on the belly.
Inhale through your nose for a few seconds, feeling your belly expand (chest should be relatively still), then gently push your hand on your abdomen as you exhale, drawing abdominals to your spine.
Repeat for a few minutes. If you begin to feel out of breath, dizzy, or have a panic attack like myself, let all control of your breath go and breath organically while your body relaxes.
Tell yourself you are rockstar, because that’s the truth. Radical self love.
Try this out for a few minutes everyday. I even do it driving, just be careful, friends:)