Stress management: Diaphragmatic breathing
August 11, 2020
Diaphragmatic breathing has been scientifically proven to reduce cortisol (one of our stress hormones) by activating the vagus nerve endings in our abdominal region – this tells our nervous system to take us out of “fight or flight” (the sympathetic nervous system) and put us into “rest and digest” mode (the parasympathetic nervous system).
- Sit in a comfortable position or lie flat on the floor or your bed
- Relax your shoulders
- Put a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose (for about four seconds) into your stomach. You should experience the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, making your stomach expand. Make sure the hand on your stomach is moving outward while the one on your chest remains relatively still.
- Hold your breath for four seconds
- Purse your lips (as if you’re about to drink through a straw), press gently on your stomach, and exhale slowly for about eight seconds.
- Repeat for 15-20 breaths