Why is it necessary to learn diaphragmatic breathing?
Diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes also referred to as belly breathing or deep breathing, is the natural way in which all human beings begin breathing. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a technique that you can learn; in fact, the opposite is true. As we grow up sometimes, because of posture-related problems, we stop breathing deeply through the movement of the diaphragm and begin to develop a more shallow type of breathing, in the upper part of the chest.
Is it possible to control breathing in moments of stress and anxiety?
Certainly it is possible to “control” breathing in times of stress and anxiety, but care must be taken. In fact, although breathing is one of the few functions of our body that we can consciously control, this comes at the expense of our ability to do anything else. That is, it is certainly possible to practice diaphragmatic breathing through the use of “mindfulness” to reduce the stress of some unpleasant situation, but to do so we need to totally extricate ourselves from the situation, with no other social interactions or anything else. This means that whenever we are in an anxious or emotionally stressful situation and have to deal with a speech, presentation or anything else, we cannot rely on the abilities of the mind, otherwise we would play dumb and appear as weak and problematic people. That is why it is necessary to learn diaphragmatic breathing on our own, that is, by making it our natural way of breathing at all times, not just when needed.
Quali sono i benefici di una corretta respirazione diframmatica?
Diaphragmatic breathing brings with it numerous benefits for physical, mental and emotional health. We will now look at the main reasons why it is definitely beneficial to learn to breathe through diaphragmatic breathing at the most important times in our lives.
- Improves respiratory function
One of the most significant benefits of consistently practicing diaphragmatic breathing is that by breathing deeply, you increase the amount of oxygen entering your lungs, which can help improve lung capacity and overall respiratory function. With fewer breaths per second, less vital energy is spent on unnecessary movements. This can be especially helpful for people with respiratory problems such as asthma and also helps keep negative emotions from being transmitted to others. It will have happened to everyone to feel anxious just listening to the labored breathing of some horror movie.
- It reduces stress and anxiety
Diaphragmatic breathing is a proven and effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. When one is stressed or anxious, the body responds by activating the sympathetic nervous system, which causes an increase in heart rate and incentivizes shallow, non-diaphragmatic breathing. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing in the opposite direction activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
- Improves digestion
Diaphragmatic breathing also helps improve digestion, reducing problems such as acid reflux or gastritis. When you breathe deeply into the diaphragm, you stimulate the vagus nerve, which is responsible for regulating many of the body’s digestive processes. This also reduces intestinal bloating and promotes “regularity.”
- Improves performance
Not only athletes benefit from diaphragmatic breathing. Anyone simply by improving respiratory function and increasing oxygen supply helps their body and brain work better. Not for nothing is about 50 percent of the oxygen we take in consumed by the brain! In addition as we have seen, more oxygen also helps to reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation, which in turn improves attention span and concentration.
- Reduces pain
Diaphragmatic breathing can also help reduce pain. When experiencing pain, the body naturally stiffens, and this can accentuate the perception of any pain, perhaps present in lesser amounts in less stressful situations. Relaxing the body and decreasing stress helps reduce tension, thus helping to reduce pain.
- Improves sleep
Diaphragmatic breathing also helps improve the quality and quantity of sleep. By promoting a sense of relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety, diaphragmatic breathing can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, so you wake up more rested and alert.
- Strengthens the immune system
Finally, it has been shown that diaphragmatic breathing can help strengthen the immune system through increased oxygen delivery and reduction of stress-related hormones.
In conclusion, diaphragmatic breathing has numerous benefits for physical, mental and emotional health. It can improve respiratory function, reduce stress and anxiety, improve digestion, improve physical performance, reduce pain, improve sleep, and strengthen the immune system. By replacing superficial chest resraction forever and restoring diaphragmatic breathing, everyone can experience these benefits and improve their overall health and well-being.
Diaphragmatic breathing and posture
If you have read carefully, you have seen that according to the Inborn Voice method, diaphragmatic breathing is natural and is not a technique to be used on command, rather it is something that must always be present, even during sleep. The secret to getting there is closely related to correct posture. When you return your posture to something natural, your breathing becomes diaphragmatic again. In fact, a hunched or asymmetric posture leads not only to a whole range of musculoskeletal problems, but also to the disappearance of diaphragmatic breathing.
Improving posture with Inborn Voice exercises will not only reduce the risk of back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal problems, but will also activate deep breathing and all the benefits we have seen above.
When you sit or stand in the correct position, your lungs have more room to expand, which can help you take deeper breaths. This creates a positive feedback loop: diaphragmatic breathing can help to improve posture, which in turn can help to further improve breathing.
Overall, diaphragmatic breathing and good posture are closely related, and the practice of both can have significant benefits for physical, mental and emotional health. By incorporating diaphragmatic breathing into your daily routine and striving to maintain good posture throughout the day, you can improve your overall health and well-being.
Three basic exercises to learn diaphragmatic breathing
Here are three exercises you can practice in your spare time to improve your posture and diaphragmatic breathing:
- Abdominal breathing:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet resting on the floor. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Inhale deeply through your nose, filling your belly with air. The chest should remain relatively still as the belly expands. Exhale slowly through the mouth, allowing the belly to deflate. Repeat for several breaths, focusing on the sensation of the belly rising and falling with each inhalation and exhalation.
- Controlled breathing:
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your feet resting on the floor. Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose counting to two. Hold your breath counting to four, then slowly exhale through your mouth counting to six. Repeat this cycle for several breaths until you feel comfortable.
- Sound Breath:
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your feet resting on the floor. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth, making a sound of your choice. Focus on the vibrating sensation in your throat as you exhale. Repeat this cycle for several breaths until you feel comfortable.
These exercises can be done anytime, anywhere and can be especially beneficial if done regularly throughout the day. Keep in mind, however, that these exercises are an end in themselves. In fact, the Inborn Voice method focuses more on emotions and posture than on breathing, because it is crucial to understand that breathing is a consequence of these first two elements and not vice versa. If you would like to start Inborn Voice training, we recommend that you book a voice assessment meeting directly with Mylena or contact us using the form below to find out about other Certified Inborn Voice Vocal Coaches.
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