Breathtaking literally can be your best skill, or a “just-getting-by” method to your overall well-being. Which method would you choose? Think about your daily challenges and ask yourself how often are you short of breath, losing your voice, coughing, anxious, distracted, tired and generally lacking confidence?
Did you know that all of these trepidations are best resolved by deep breathing with your diaphragm and intercostal muscles? Your diaphragm is just below your rib cage area where it will expand as your inhale your breath, then relax as you exhale your air. It has the most flexible range of space expansion from holding a small reserve of air to gathering the maximum amount of air in your largest body cavity. With the help of attached intercostal muscles the diaphragm expands your lower rib cage outward to create more space for lung capacity.
Discover if you are using your diaphragm to your best advantage. The diaphragmatic breathing method offers you the best management tool to determine when, why, and how to access your breathing solution to exhale your breath slowly over a long time, hold some air in reserve, or to expel it suddenly in a moment.
Step 1: Feel where your diaphragm connects with your breathing.
Lie on your back, relax, and breathe slowly.
Place your hand gently on your stomach. See and feel your hand and stomach move up as you breathe in, then return as you exhale your breath.
Hooray! You are breathing with the diaphragm.
Avoid raising your shoulders or breathing only in the smaller upper chest cavity
Step 2: Expand the amount of air your diaphragm maintains.
Inhale your air for a count of 3, hold it for a count of 2, and exhale for a count of 3
Increase your intake for a count of 4, hold it for a count of 3, and exhale for a count of 5
Repeat inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 7. Continue this pattern increasing your exhalation to 8, then 9, then 10; and so on, until 15 or more if you can.
Step 3: Manage your diaphragmatic breathing method when you need it most.
Take your time over a few days or weeks to develop and practise increasing the amount of air you can exhale.
Relax and practise diaphragmatic breathing to become your significant way to breathe naturally throughout the day whenever you relax, move, or speak.