Just Belly Breathe

We have all heard it. “Just take a deep breath.” When I talk to clients about taking deep breaths, they typically say they have tried that tactic before, and it did not work for them. The problem is they have not been taking deep BELLY breaths. Imagine you are very anxious, and your breathing is shallow and fast. When you try to take a deep breath from this type of breathing, you will likely notice your chest is the only area that expands. Despite this “deep breath,” your lungs probably did not expand very far. The problem is we have forgotten how to breathe correctly. If you watch a baby breathe on their back, their belly moves in and out. Society has taught us to hold our stomachs in while breathing. This does not allow the diaphragm to function properly, resulting in shallow breaths.

I encourage clients to breathe correctly by placing one hand on their chest and the other hand above their belt. This allows them to focus on moving their bottom hand vs. the hand on their chest. The first step to taking a deep bell breath is to exhale in the form of a sigh. This allows your muscles to relax. Pause briefly and inhale slowly through the nose. Exhale slowly through the mouth. If you try this exercise, you may find that you yawn or get lightheaded. This can occur because your body is not used to taking in this much oxygen. If this occurs, simply take slower breaths. Try practicing this technique before bed to relax your body and mind, which will improve the quality of your sleep. The more you practice when you are calm, the easier it will be to utilize this tactic to combat anxiety in the moment.

Speak Your Mind


24363 Spring Creek Road
Washington, IL 61571

(309) 204-9881

Schedule Appointment

Got Questions?
Send a Message!