Published On: April 29th, 2020|348 words|1.2 min read|
Weddings, graduations, celebrations–these are the times when we want to “be in the moment,” to enjoy every second. But it’s more difficult to be present during times of challenge or boredom. Believe it or not, breathing practice can help. Learning to practice mindful awareness during the mundane or the uncomfortable moments can help us to slow down and appreciate the joyful ones.
Learning new breathing practices can also help with conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you watch a baby sleep, you’ll see the baby’s stomach rise and fall with each breath. Babies naturally breathe with the diaphragm (the dome-shaped muscle under the lungs). With chronic lung disease, you may start using your accessory muscles (a combination of muscles in the chest, shoulders, and neck) instead. Using more muscles takes more effort and makes shortness of breath worse.
You can learn to breathe with the diaphragm again. Because you’ll be using only one muscle to breathe instead of many, you’ll use less energy. Learn how to practice Diaphragmatic Breathing in the Veterans Health Library by clicking this link.
Breathing practices can help with day-to-day stress, but sometimes you may need more. Do you need help coping with feelings of anxiety or hopelessness? Do you feel that friends and family just can’t understand what you are going through?