Diaphragmatic breathing: A secret for relaxation

Diaphragmatic breathing: A secret for relaxation

If every time you have an important appointment or other social activity you feel overwhelmed by stress, then it is advisable to find some quick relief to be able to become functional.

The simplest method of relaxation is breathing control. There are dozens (maybe hundreds) of breathing techniques available. We will present you the easiest and fastest trick.


Put your body in a relaxed state

Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body to provide a fight or flight response to a threatening situation. Heart rates go up, breathing becomes faster and cortisol is produced.

If someone is threatening you with a gun, this is useful because it puts your body on alert. However, if cortisol is continuously elevated, this can cause serious side effects to the body. It's like a machine running full time. At some point it will collapse.

Instead, stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system occurs when the body wants to restore or maintain its reserves, that is, when the danger has passed and the body wants to rejuvenate. In this case, the body relaxes, the heart rate drops, the pressure decreases and breathing becomes slower.

Therefore, what you need to do is to lead the body to a state where the parasympathetic system is active. This can be done by diaphragmatic breathing.



Diaphragmatic Breathing

Unlike most chest breathing used by most people, diaphragmatic breathing is done by the contraction of the diaphragm, a large vascularized muscle at the base of the lungs. During diaphragmatic breathing, air entering the lung inflates the abdomen. This is why diaphragmatic breathing is also called abdominal breathing.

Babies use diaphragmatic breathing to breathe. Diaphragmatic breathing is something you can learn quickly and easily.

To do this, try placing your hands on your abdomen while sitting or lying down. Then inhale slowly and deeply through the nose and notice your hands that are in the abdomen.

Expiration should take twice as long as inhalation. If for example you breathe air for 3 seconds, then the expiration should take 6 seconds.

Do these breaths for about five minutes and you will feel your body and mind relaxed.



Yu-Fen Chen, Xuan-Yi Huang et al, (2016), The Effectiveness of Diaphragmatic Breathing Relaxation Training for Reducing Anxiety, Wiley Online Library, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ppc.12184.


By Dr Angel,

Aggeliki KoskeridouHolistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology


insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 

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