The Belly – Wicked Cool Tool Wednesday #4

by Danielle MacKinnon

shutterstock_184616234Today is a day that a lot of people are going to be experiencing a lot of emotion. Whether that emotion is positive or negative, happy or fearful, excited or desperate, this is a day when energy management will be needed by everyone.

Me included.

I woke up this morning and laid in bed thinking about what would work the best – what tool would be the best to share today?

At first I couldn’t think of one. I went back and forth over this one and that one and just wasn’t “feeling” the draw to any one technique.

And then I realized it was because I needed to manage my own energy.

And I’m going to share with you the very simple tool that I used to bring myself back to center this morning.

It’s nothing fancy – in fact, it’s probably the most basic tool I know – and yet, in times of turmoil (whether inner or outer) it’s the tool that I come back to time and time again.

It’s simple belly breathing.

The thing about this type of breathing is that if you are anxious or worried or upset, you’re naturally not going to be doing it. And if you feel anxious or worried or upset a lot, you’ve probably reprogrammed your body to never do it.

So, this may feel weird. But just try it.

Step 1: Start with your hands on your ribs. You can place your left hand flat against your left rib cage and right hand flat against your right rib cage OR you can hug yourself with opposite hands flat against opposite ribs.

Step 2: Begin a long, slow inhale through your nose. As you inhale, allow your ribs to expand (so your hands will move outward). Do not allow your upper chest to move or expand. Keep that part of your body neutral.

Step 3: When you reach the top of the breath, slowing begin to exhale through your nose allowing your ribs (and hands) to move back inward.

Step 4: Pause and repeat.

Now here’s the thing – you’re probably going to want to inhale and have your tummy suck in – that’s not going to create the desired effect that as that is the type of breathing that people do when they are anxious or nervous. We want to do the type of breathing that promotes relaxation.

It might take you several tries to get this right – as most people out of their anxious habits tend to breath the opposite way.

You’ll know when you get it right because afterwards, when you test out how you feel, you’ll actually feel different.

Most people say they feel more peaceful, more at ease, and less nervous or upset.

And hey, today of all days, I’ll take that feeling.

Love and Light,

2 replies
  1. Hank
    Hank says:

    Hi Danielle,

    I read your posts every day. Thanks.
    Today’s post is a bit odd for me.
    I am a stomach breather all the time, unless activity requires more oxygen. Can I expect the same results by concentrating on breathing?


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