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When most people get stressed they breathe high up from their chest and this can trigger off our fight and flight response that induces a panicked response and escalates our anxiety or stress.

It helps to slow down your breathing and breathe deep from your stomach. This changes your physical state, helping to engage the calming side of your nervous system and dampening down the stress hormones and, in turn, affects your mental state.

Learning to breathe correctly is often the first step in helping you manage stress levels.

Using a technique that is similar to blowing up a balloon can help. So imagine blowing up a balloon or find one and try it and notice how you use the muscles in your belly. Then, use the same muscles to try this calming belly breathing technique: –

Breathe deeply through your nose, feeling your belly rise with the in-breath and sink to the spine on the out-breath.

Keep doing this for about 10 breaths just noticing the breathing process and when your mind wonders or gets distracted just bringing it gently back to focus on your breathing.

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