"Feelings come and go like clouds in the windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
When you are nervous, anxious, or overly excited before a performance, people tend to say, just calm down by taking deep breaths.
Diaphragmatic Breathing (DB) is what people are actually saying. When we breathe deep, you can physically see your belly expand and contract vs when we breathe shallow, we just see our chest rise and fall.
Learning to breathe deep:
a. Get comfortable by sitting back in a chair or just lay down on the ground with chest facing up.
Relax your body and sink in. Feel your shoulders drop and your legs go limp.
b. Focus on your breath by breathing in deep through your nose, keep breathing in till you can’t breathe in
Next, just pause for a few seconds before you exhale.
Now exhale out through your mouth.
*If you inhaled for 4 seconds, try to double the time on your exhale, exhale for 8 seconds.
c. Center one hand on your belly button and the other hand on your heart. If you are doing it right, you will feel your chest slightly expand, but you should mainly feel and see your belly rising and falling. You should also feel and hear your heart beat slow down.
d. Do this for 2-3 minutes a day to get centered, grounded, and relaxed.
e. Take 3-4 deep breaths like this throughout the day, especially before and after you do something, be it a work meeting, workout, right after you check your social media, or when you are feeling stressed.
Make DB part of your daily habit.
Side effects will include, feeling more calm and relaxed, improves concentration, boosts the immune system, improves circulation and oxygen intake, helps with muscle recovery, digest food better, and improve your sleep.