We breathe all day and night, non stop. If we didn't, we would have a real problem! But how many of us breathe properly? How you breathe affects everything: your physical and mental wellbeing depends on good breathing.
The best way to breathe is slowly, naturally and deeply, by pushing down the diaphragm-the large muscle just below your rib cage. You can tell if you are using your diaphragm by placing one hand on your tummy and one on your chest. If you are breathing with the diaphragm, your tummy should be going in and out slowly as you breathe. This is called diaphragmatic breathing.
If your chest is expanding and contracting, that is a different kind of breathing called thoracic breathing. We need both kinds, but many people do not use diaphragmatic breathing enough. It is great for calming the nerves if you are stressed, and is better for your physical health too.
When you have time, lie down and slowly breathe in and out. Place a hand on your tummy, to check if you are using your diaphragm, and your other hand on your chest to see if it is expanding and contracting. Practice slow, diaphragmatic breathing, and enjoy the calming effect it produces.