Are you a shallow breather?
Take a deep breath. Did your chest rise? Not sure? Put one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. Take a deep breath. Which hand moved? If it was the hand on your chest, you’re breathing in shallow breaths. Why does this matter? There are numerous health risks involved here, like decreased mental focus, less refreshing sleep, and higher blood pressure.
Try taking a deep breath through your nose for five seconds and use the air to push your belly out instead. Hold this air for a second or two and then exhale through your mouth also counting to five. Do this a few times. Did you notice a difference?
When we breathe in these deep belly breaths, we get more oxygen into our system. The transfer of oxygen actually takes place in the bottom of our lungs. When we breathe belly breaths, we get more oxygen into our lungs and into our bodies, and this makes us feel less stressed out! (My chiropractor told me this, and she was right!)
Anytime we feel stressed out or anxious, we can use this simple technique to relax. If you practice this often, it will become the way you naturally breathe, again, like you did when you were a baby, and you will feel refreshed when you get enough oxygen. And when you feel refreshed, you just flat out feel happier. Take the challenge to breathe these deep belly breaths at least two or three times a day and see if you notice the difference.