Breathing has a remarkable impact upon your body’s chemistry, your health, and your state of mind. Breathing differently can help you relax, focus, and speak well. What’s more – speaking with your gut also sounds better!
Here’s a brief demonstration of Belly Breathing (diaphragmatic breathing), as described in my book ‘Speak for Yourself’.
(if the embed isn’t working, follow this link: “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFbaB87x00M“)
Please excuse the French, but this little gif describes the movement of the diaphragm quite well:
You can see from this animation, that you aren’t breathing into your belly. Your diaphragm (a sheet-like muscle that sits under your ribcage) descends, increasing the volume of the lungs, drawing in air from the outside. This descent also pushes your intestines out (not too much!), which is why the stomach is moving, but the shoulders remain still.
Breathing like this (slowly!) will make you feel more relaxed, because the blood will be adequately oxygenated (rather than over oxygenated, which disturbs the blood’s pH balance).
It all sounds very confusing, but it’s quite simple really: