Breathe Your Stress Away!

During this COVID-19 pandemic you might find yourself feeling anxious and stressed. Maybe you notice increased tension in your neck, headaches, or even just tight all over. You may also find yourself on the computer more than normal contributing to poor posture. During this time of uncertainty diaphragmatic breathing may be a great way to help you cope with these common issues.


The diaphragm is the most important and efficient muscle for breathing. Diaphragmatic Breathing trains your body to use this muscle correctly when breathing and gives you more power to fill and empty your lungs.


Often the diaphragm is not working properly causing the neck and chest muscles to work harder when breathing. This will then cause the diaphragm to become weak and less effective.





There are ways to train your diaphragm and improve its efficiency for breathing.


Laying on your back, place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. As you inhale, feel your belly rise, hold in for 3-5 seconds and as you exhale feel your belly fall. Try to avoid having your chest move as you breathe in and out.





Performing this for 5 minutes 2-4 times per day can help to:


  • Reduce resting heart rate

  • Reduce muscle tension

  • Reduce pain

  • Improve breathing efficiency


Once you have mastered it laying down you can practice it sitting up in a chair. This may be a great way to relax and get your mind off the stress, improve oxygen levels, lower your heart rate and boost your immunity to help keep us all healthy during this trying time.


References:


(2018, September 14) Diaphragmatic Breathing. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9445-diaphragmatic-breathing

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