Belly breathing (or diaphragmatic breathing) is a proven way to reduce stress and place your body on the parasympathetic nervous system. When our bodies are on the parasympathetic nervous system, we are in a place for relaxation, restoration, health, and healing. This may be easiest to do while lying down but this can be done in a sitting position.
- Place one hand on your abdomen below your navel. Place your other hand on your upper chest.
- Close your eyes. Relax your jaw and shoulders.
- Focus on your lower hand. Imagining a small balloon inside.
- Breathe in slowly and fully through your nose imagining the balloon inflating. Pause.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth imagining the balloon gently deflating. Blow out of your mouth as though you were gently blowing out a candle.
- Repeat this for one minute.
Tip: As you breathe in, you want to feel your lower hand rising and not much movement in your upper hand.
You can do this in the classroom, at home, in the car, anywhere!