Normal vs. diaphragmatic breathing: Differences to know

Normal vs. diaphragmatic breathing: Differences to know

We all breathe to stay alive but have you wondered why it is important to breathe well? Of course not! We usually leave it to our lungs to perform this job. The majority of people do not breathe well! It might sound awkward but this is true! We all know that when we breathe, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. People don’t realize the importance of deep breathing. In this context, you’ll know the meaning of diaphragmatic breathing and how it differs from normal breathing.

Difference between shallow breathing and diaphragmatic breathing:

In the case of normal breathing, you’ll never forget to breathe. In other words, normal/shallow breathing takes place as a normal activity as it is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Shallow breathing is the activity that we do throughout the day but shallow breathes can get stuck as there is no brain or muscle activity. This is the reason why belly breathing is considered far more effective than shallow breathing.

In shallow breathing, only a small amount of oxygen goes inside your lungs. Similarly, a very small amount of carbon dioxide comes out! This causes an accumulation of carbon dioxide gas inside your lungs which isn’t healthy at all!

The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle located between the abdomen and the chest. Because of the belly movement during deep breaths, it is named belly breathing. Unlike in shallow breathing, an expansion and contraction of the diaphragm take place allowing easy movement of air through the passage. During this expansion and contraction, the belly moves in and out. To do this breathing, you need to have focus and dedication.

The technique to perform deep breathing:

To extract all the benefits of deep breathing, you need to know the correct technique. Go through the steps mentioned below and continue practicing.

  • Take a comfortable position- sit or lie down.
  • Relax all your body parts. Remove all your thoughts from the mind and focus on the exercise.
  • Keep one hand below your rib cage and the other one on your chest.
  • Take deep breaths and try to hold it a few seconds. Release your breath when you feel that you are no longer able to hold it. Feel your belly going inside. You should exhale out with your lips as if you are whistling.
  • Practice this as often as you can. The process should be repeated 4 to 5 times minimum.
  • The best time to practice this is when you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning.

How will you know that you have perfectly mastered the art of deep breathing? You should check out the best diaphragmatic breathing symptoms i.e. you need to check if your abdomen moves while breathing in and out. If it does, it means you are on the right track.  Deep breathing is associated with several benefits and advantages. It not only supplies purified oxygen to the blood vessels but also helps in reducing your stress levels. Deep breathing produces a chemical known as ‘endorphins’ responsible for relieving pain. There are several types of deep breathing techniques like- sphere breathing and square breathing. However, you should try out these techniques only after mastering the basic diaphragmatic breathing technique.

Bonnie Baldwin