How to Do Abdominal Breathing, Suitable to Do When You Want to Relax!

How to Do Abdominal Breathing, Suitable to Do When You Want to Relax!

Have you ever heard of abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing?

The diaphragm is a big muscle that runs along the bottom of the lungs.

This breathing involves the entirety of the abdomen, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm when breathing.

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This means, actively pulling the diaphragm down with each breath.

In this way, diaphragmatic breathing helps the lungs to fill more efficiently.

The abdominal breathing mechanism is carried out when a person inhales, his diaphragm contracts and moves down.

Then, it creates space for the lungs to expand and fill with air.

When a person exhales, the diaphragm relaxes and moves upwards, helping to expel air from the lungs.

Breathing is a natural function that occurs without conscious effort most of the time.

However, the average breath tends to be shallow and does not involve the diaphragm too much.

During abdominal breathing, a person consciously uses the diaphragm to take deeper breaths.

Then, while performing abdominal breathing, we also see the abdomen rising and falling.

Then, it will feel the sensation of expanding or stretching in the abdomen, not just on the chest and shoulders.

Benefits of Abdominal Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing offers several benefits for the body, including:

  • Helping you relax more
  • Improves muscle function during exercise and prevents stress
  • Makes it easier for the body to release waste gases from the lungs
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces heart rate

The benefits of abdominal breathing are especially important for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In COPD, air can be trapped in the lungs, which makes the diaphragm depressed.

This causes the diaphragm to weaken and work less efficiently.

Abdominal breathing can help people with COPD strengthen the diaphragm.

Then, it can help use less effort and energy to breathe.

Types of Abdominal Breathing

There are several types of abdominal breathing that you can do at home, here are some of them as quoted from Healthline:

1. Basic Abdominal Breathing

Here is a basic abdominal breathing procedure.

It's better to do it while lying on the floor if you are doing it for the first time.

  • Sit or lie on a comfortable flat surface.
  • Relax the shoulders, and slide down away from the ears.
  • Put the hands on the chest and the hands on the abdomen.
  • Without straining or pushing, inhale through the nose until it can't breathe air anymore.
  • Feel the air moving through the nostrils to the abdomen, this will expand the abdomen and sides of the waist. The chest usually does not move.
  • The wrinkle of the lips is like inhaling a straw. Exhale slowly through the lips for 4 seconds and feel the stomach contract gently.
  • Repeat this step several times for the best results.

2. Rib strain breathing

Rib stretching is a beneficial deep abdominal breathing exercise to help you expand your breath into the ribs. Here's how to do it:

  • Stand or sit upright.
  • Cross your hands over your chest and place your palms on both sides of your ribs.
  • Without straining or pushing, inhale through the nose until it can't breathe air anymore.
  • Feel the ribs widen into the hands while doing so.
  • For 5 to 10 seconds, hold your breath.
  • Exhale slowly through the mouth. You can do this normally or by pursing your lips.

3. Numbering Breathing

Numbering breathing is a good exercise to gain control over breathing patterns.

Here's how to do it:

  • Sit up or stand up straight and close your eyes.
  • Without straining or pushing, inhale through the nose until it can't breathe air anymore.
  • Exhale until all the air is emptied of the lungs.
  • Keep your eyes closed, and take another full breath.
  • Maintain the air in the lungs for a few seconds, then remove everything.
  • Count it as a breath of one.
  • Take another full breath.
  • Hold for a few seconds, then take it all out.
  • Count it as a breath of two.
  • Repeat a full breath, hold it, then exhale.
  • Count it as the third breath.
  • Repeat these steps until reaching the 10th breath.
  • Feel free to calculate higher if you feel comfortable.

For the additional attention component, you can start all over again, paying attention to accidentally counting more than 10.

4. Lower-back breathing

Lower-back breathing can help train oneself to breathe with the ball rather than just going in and out.

  • Put the palm of the hand on the lower back with the thumb touching the top of the hip bone. The hands are approximately parallel to the kidneys.
  • Inhale slowly through the nose, focusing on "sending" the breath to the hand in the lower back.
  • You can slightly shrink the abdomen to emphasize movement in the lower back.
  • You may feel almost undetectable movement in the lower back, or you may not feel any movement at all.
  • Exhale slowly through the nose or mouth, allowing the abdomen and sides of the waist to contract naturally.
  • Take another breath and focus on widening the lower back to the hand.
  • Exhale and release the breath completely.
  • Repeat this process for 10 cycles.

You can't really breathe backward or stomach. You can only breathe into the lungs.

This exercise involves the use of an expansion of the lungs in the body to help stimulate sensations and movements in the lower back.

5. Box Breathing

Box breathing is often referred to as square breathing.

This is because each of the four breathing steps needs to hold the breath for 4 seconds, so it creates a 4 x 4 effect.

  • Sit or stand up straight.
  • Exhale slowly through the mouth, removing all oxygen from the lungs.
  • Inhale while counting slowly to four on the head, filling the lungs completely without any suspense.
  • Hold your breath while counting slowly to four.
  • Exhale and release the breath slowly until the fourth count.
  • Hold your breath for four counts.
  • Repeat the cycle five to ten times.

6. 4-7-8 breathing

The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is based on an ancient yogic technique called pranayama. It was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil.

  • Leave the lips slightly open. Make a whizzing sound, exhaling completely through the mouth.
  • Close the lips and inhale silently through the nose when counting to four on the head, this will fill the lungs completely.
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
  • Make another roaring breath from the mouth for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat for five to 10 turns.

Abdominal breathing is most effective when you feel the need to rest.

Try one or more techniques to see which one is the best fit. Please try!