What is Deep Belly Breathing?

What is Deep Belly Breathing?

Deep belly breathing is a practice that can strengthen your diaphragm, a muscle that assists in breathing. It has a number of helpful benefits including:

  • Relaxation
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Reduces stress

When your body is stressed it decreases the functionality of the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and disease. Practicing deep belly breathing can assist in reducing stress and taking your body out of fight or flight, our natural response to stress. The practice works by reducing the cortisol levels, the stress hormone, in the body.

How To Practice Deep Belly Breathing

To practice deep belly breathing, inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 8. Repeat these steps until you are feeling some stress relief. If there is any difficulty with this, try adjusting the amount of time spent inhaling and exhaling. If this practice is too easy, feel free to add time onto the inhale or exhale.  The reason why we spend more time exhaling than inhaling because our nervous system is connected to inhaling and our rest and recovery is connected to the exhale. We want to spend more time getting our nervous system in the period of rest and recovery.

Try this practice a few times a day, or when you are feeling stressed to assist with taking your body out of fight or flight. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email the office.

Here’s To A Better Life,

Dr. Steve Puckette