Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of deep breathing technique that uses the diaphragm, a large, dome-shaped muscle located at base of the chest and lungs that helps to control the breath.
This type of breathing causes your lower torso to expand and then relax as air moves in and out of the lungs. While your belly moves during this type of breathing, your chest does not rise.
You breath in through the nose as opposed to the mouth.
Follow these instructions:
- If possible, practice at first while laying down on your back with your knees bent.
- Put one hand on your chest and the other below your ribcage, which allows you to feel your diaphragm as it moves with the breath.
- Breathe in through your nose slowly, counting up to 5 as you inhale. You should feel the hand on your rib cage move as your diaphragm expands, but the hand on your chest should stay still.
- Tighten your stomach muscles as you exhale through your mouth, and let the diaphragm relax. Try to fully breathe out, counting to 5 before inhaling again.
As you get used to breathing in this way, it should take less deliberate effort. While you’re working on the right technique, practice the exercise above for about five minutes at a time, ideally several times per day (such as in bed in the morning and again at night, and/or before meditating or exercising).