Abdominal Breathing: 3 Simple Exercises to Relax

Targeted breathing exercises can not only help you to relax and calm down in stressful situations, but can also be of great help with gastrointestinal complaints.

In this article you will learn:

  • How breathing exercises can help you relax your stomach
  • Which complaints can be brought under control with breathing exercises
  • How To Learn How To Effectively Learn Abdominal Breathing Exercises

How belly breathing exercises can help

As a rule, we do not think too much about our breathing in everyday life. It is a process that takes place automatically with the help of our breathing center in the brain. Unfortunately, many people breathe incorrectly by breathing too quickly or too shallowly. The result is often insufficient oxygen supply, which is noticeable in the body. We feel tired, exhausted, stressed or tense .

The proper breathing , however, can be supplied with sufficient oxygen much more than just our bodies. Applied correctly, it stimulates the body functions , normalizes the metabolism and increases the ability to concentrate . Pain and feelings of tension can also be reduced with the right breathing technique.

Correct application

Not only our lungs play a decisive role in correct breathing , but also the  diaphragm . It describes the central respiratory muscle in our body. Colloquially, diaphragmatic breathing is also referred to as “abdominal breathing”. If you take a deep breath, you can see and feel how your abdominal wall rises through the diaphragm that is pushed into the abdomen and how your stomach arches a little forward. The easiest way to observe this effect is to place a hand on your stomach and take two to three deep breaths . If you feel your stomach rise and fall slowly, you are breathing properly.

Effect on the body

Correct breathing provides your body with enough oxygen . You feel fitter, are less tired, tension and tightness in the chest are released and your stress level is reduced. The heartbeat slows down because it no longer has to pump as often to supply your body with enough oxygen. This makes you feel calmer and more balanced overall. Depressive moods can also be alleviated with the help of abdominal breathing. In addition, abdominal breathing is also very good for your stomach. If you train your diaphragm to breathe properly, your stomach will be massaged from the inside on a regular basis .

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Even stubborn headaches can sometimes literally vanish into thin air with the right breathing technique. Try it!

Which complaints do abdominal breathing exercises help?

Breathing exercises are of great help for a variety of complaints, especially if they are psychosomatic . A  psychosomatic disorder  is present if “it is assumed that the symptoms,  etiology , maintenance and therapy of the physical illness are shaped by psychological and somatic factors and for which multidisciplinary diagnostics and therapy are generally considered necessary.”

Nervous tensions in the The gastrointestinal tract can be relieved if you breathe deeply into your abdomen instead of just into your lungs . If you have an irritable stomach or bowel syndrome, diaphragmatic breathing can help alleviate the symptoms that occur.

When your stomach relaxes, constipation is less likely because the digestive process can normalize thanks to correct breathing. Digestive complaints such as stomach pain, heartburn or bloating can be alleviated . Abdominal breathing can also help against a nervous stomach. It calms the whole body, which can help relieve any nausea.

Correct breathing also has other health benefits . If you inhale into your chest or shoulders – recognizable by the fact that only your chest or shoulders rise when you breathe – your heart has to work harderto be able to transport enough oxygen. Increased yawning can also indicate that you are breathing incorrectly.

The consequences of this are, for example, fatigue or an increased susceptibility to stress. If, on the other hand, you train abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing, symptoms such as poor concentration, fatigue, but also depressive moods, shortness of breath, high blood pressure or headaches can be resolved .

Where can I learn helpful breathing exercises?

You can learn breathing exercises, for example, in online courses  offered by  various health insurance companies or by attending yoga or qigong courses. Meditation can also help you learn how to breathe correctly and feel better. You can also find  numerous videos on YouTube that explain breathing techniques. You can easily implement the techniques learned there at home or at work and thus learn healthier breathing in the long term, which not only relaxes your stomach but your entire body .

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In order to be able to breathe better and to supply your body with sufficient oxygen, you should also pay more attention to your posture in everyday life. If you work while sitting, this can negatively affect your breathing. An upright gait and a straight sitting posture automatically help you get better air,  give you more energy  and, at the same time, strengthen your self-confidence.

Many health insurance companies offer online courses on how to relax properly.

3 relaxing breathing exercises for the stomach

If you want to relax your stomach , you can do the following three breathing exercises, which can help to relieve symptoms such as abdominal pain, gas, or constipation:

EXERCISE 1: ABDOMINAL BREATHING

The easiest and most practical exercise for conscious breathing is abdominal breathing. You can use them anytime – at home, on the way to work and even in a meeting.

  1. Place your palms on the area of ​​your stomach.
  2. Inhale and exhale deeply so you can feel your stomach rise and fall.
  3. Let your hands circle a little on your stomach with gentle pressure.
  4. Breathe in and out like this for about a minute.
  5. Take a short break and repeat this process.
EXERCISE 2: PRANAYAMA

Pranayama is a practice from Ayurveda . This is a health teaching that comes from the Indian cultural area and means something like “science of life”. In India, Ayurveda is considered an independent medical science that alleviates diseases and promotes health. Pranayama has a harmonizing effect on digestion and calms your entire body . You can do the exercise anywhere you want to calm down and recharge your batteries.

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair or sit cross-legged  on the floor . Take a few deep breaths in and out, making sure that you are breathing into your stomach instead of your lungs or shoulders.
  2. Keep your head and back straight so your head, shoulders, and hips are in line.
  3. Take your right thumb and use it to seal your right nostril. Now inhale slowly through your left nostril. Once you’ve inhaled deeply, take the ring finger of your right hand, use it to close your left nostril and open your right nostril by lifting your thumb. Now exhale slowly.
  4. Repeat the process, now closing your left nostril with your left thumb. Inhale through your right nostril, close your right nostril with your ring finger, open your left nostril, and slowly exhale again.
  5. Repeat this cycle four times on each side.
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EXERCISE 3: THE DRIVER’S SEAT

The driver’s seat is a breathing exercise for which you need a little more space than for the other exercises . You can still do it very well even if you are alone in the office, for example.

  1. Sit upright on the front edge of a chair.
  2. In the next step, slowly sag. Your forearms should rest on your thighs with your hands hanging loosely. The back is slightly rounded, as if you were crouching, and feels loose. The weight that is normally placed on your chest is reduced by doing this posture. The chest can expand in this way and take in more air than usual.
  3. Inhale slowly through your nose for a few minutes and then exhale through your mouth slightly open.

Practice abdominal breathing: that’s why it’s so important

Learning to breathe properly is not difficult. With the help of proper breathing, you can relax your body, including your stomach and intestines , which increases your general well-being. Incorrect breathing, on the other hand, manifests itself in tension, tiredness and gastrointestinal problems. So try to breathe consciously and train your diaphragm. 

Over time, you will find it easier to breathe correctly. When you feel that you have returned to lung or shoulder breathing, take a few minutes to perform the breathing exercises described here to find your way back to correct abdominal and diaphragmatic breathing.

If you have trouble doing the breathing exercises on your own, you can get oneFind a yoga or qigong class in which you can learn to breathe correctly. A physical therapist can also help you lead a healthier life with the help of proper breathing.

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