Belly breathing isn’t an easy skill to learn… especially for a panicker like me.
When I first started trying to breathe diaphragmatically while under lots of stress in grad school, the whole effort was a miserable failure. Whenever I tried, even in the comfort of my own apartment, I felt like I wasn’t getting enough air. And that airless feeling, in turn, would usually trigger a panic attack.
Despite my perennial pessimism in most other parts of life, I kept trying.
I kept trying at home. I kept trying in my university’s anxiety management class. I kept trying in the library. I kept trying and trying and trying.
And now, four or five odd years later, I’m finally able to breathe out of my belly instead of my upper chest. Through mindfulness, I’m now able to notice when my breathing pattern is off — and then, I can consciously correct it.
Have you ever tried diaphragmatic breathing? Well, whether you’re an experienced belly breather or brand new to the concept, there’s a neat little free app in the iTunes store that claims to help you practice.
It’s called Belly Biofeedback, and yes — of course I’ll demonstrate it for you!
You can download the free app and use it on either the iPhone or the iPod Touch. Are you going to try it out?
How long did it take for you to master? And, most importantly, are you able to apply it during anxiety-inducing situations or can you only do it successfully when you’re calm to begin with? (This was another big problem of mine for the first year or two!)
You can learn more about diaphragmatic breathing here.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Jun 2012
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Beretsky, S. (2012). Video: Using “Belly Biofeedback” App for Diaphragmatic Breathing. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 3, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/02/video-using-belly-biofeedback-app-for-diaphragmatic-breathing/