Belly breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, or abdominal breathing, is one of the best techniques for quickly reducing stress and anxiety as well as to calm the mind and settle your blood pressure down. Next time you are sitting in traffic, give some belly breathing a try. You will find yourself calmer and more peaceful in no time.

Concentrate on breathing in and out of your nose and allowing your belly and your lower back to expand and fill up as you inhale. Then, gently compress your abdomen and give a little extra push to encourage all of the air to leave through your nose. Belly breathing sends signals to your brain that help you relax and calm down. Plus, if you can keep this video in mind, you will also have a silly grin on your face!

According to the American Institute of Stress, “Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.” Read More

NPR News wrote a great article that states, “As it turns out, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it’s been scientifically proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes.” Included with the story is an audio recording of the article. I have included it below for your convenience:

There have been countless studies concluding that breathing techniques can positively effect the physiology of the human body. The study and practice of Tai Chi is one method to incorporate physical movement with slow, deep, long breaths—breathing through the nose, filling and contracting the abdomen. With practice, you will find that these techniques will become second nature and you can easily draw on them in stressful situations. As NPR mentions in their article, “The breath isn’t something Western medicine should blow off. It’s a powerful tool for influencing individual health and well-being. And the best part is all the ingredients are free and literally right under your nose.”