The breath as a monitor of our stress levels
When we are tense or stressed out our breath is usually faster and shallower. This means we breathe to our chest more than to our abdomen.
You can check your breath in two ways:
- Feel your breath
Put a hand on your chest and abdomen and breathe. Feel where the sensations of your breath are most obvious. Does your chest rise and fall more than your abdomen? Or does your abdomen hardly move at all?
- Count your breath
Take three minutes to count your breaths. Take pen and paper. Start the stopwatch on your phone and for 3 minutes draw the waves of your breath. When you breathe in you draw the wave up, when you breather out, you draw the wave down. At the end of the three minutes count the number of breaths you took and divide them by three.