What are deep breathing exercises (diaphragmatic breathing)?

• An alternative form of meditation in which the individual takes multiple long and deep breaths in an attempt to reduce their level of stress and anxiety.

• This technique slows the breathing rate by inhaling deeply through the nose, then a pause, which follows by exhaling slowly through the mouth.

Why should you perform deep breathing exercises?

  • Researchers demonstrate that diaphragmatic breathing is beneficial to both mental and physical health.
  • It can be self-administered immediately when a stress trigger occurs and can be used anywhere.
  • Benefits can be felt with just 5 minutes of diaphragmatic breathing exercise. 

How to perform diaphragmatic breathing?

Instructions:

  • Make yourself comfortable. Relax your body. Close your eyes gently. 
  • Take two deep breaths slowly. 
  • Then, breathe naturally. 
  • Notice the flow of air through your nose.
  • Rest your attention gently on the breath.
  • If you are distracted by any sounds, body sensations, thoughts or feelings, gently come back to your breath.
  • Be aware of your breath for the next five minutes.

(Beng et al., 2016)