Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep belly breathing has multitude of benefits that affect the whole body. Used in almost all meditation or relaxation techniques, deep diaphragmatic breathing lowers your stress level, reduces your blood pressure, helps improve your mood.
Putting one hand on below your ribcage, right above your navel and one hand on your chest may help you see whether you’re breathing deep into your belly. When you breathe in and out, you should see the hand above your navel rise and fall while the hand on your chest stays relatively stable. The goal is to breathe in deeply and slowly, fully engaging the diaphragm, and then breathe out slowly.
Fully engaging the diaphragm gives the lungs more space to expand and encourages full oxygen exchange, as opposed to shallower chest breathing.
Breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth, with your lips slightly pursed helps to breathe deeply and slowly. You should not be forcing or contracting your abdomen to push the air out.
Remember that there isn’t one correct way to breathe that works for everyone, all the time. 5-10 minutes of daily conscious deep breathing exercises have various health benefits but constantly trying to manipulate the way you breathe may do you more harm than good.