Living With Bruxism: Ways to Manage Tooth Grinding Jaw Clenching and Sleep Easy

By: Nancy Amon

Ever heard of the term “bruxism”? It is the name given for the medical condition where someone grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw, often unaware. Numerous folks don’t know they’re doing this but will experience frequent headaches and neck pain as those muscles tense. 

Lots of people around the world have experienced this, especially during times of high stress and during their sleep. A study in Canada suggested that nearly 46% of people partaking in a study complained of sleep deprivation due to sleep bruxism. 

Why Do People Experience Bruxism or Jaw Clenching?

  • It may run in the family occurring as a genetic behaviour.
  • It could be stress or anxiety.
  • Sleep disorders like sleep apnea might cause it.
  • Teeth misalignment and abnormal jaw shape could result in it.
  • Excessive alcohol intake.
  • Certain illicit drugs and prescription drugs.

Can you Tell If you Grind your Teeth?

Image credit | Unsplash

Bruxism or teeth grinding occurs due to many possibilities and can even stem from hereditary factors. People going through peak stress levels at work or even at home can experience more headaches and jaw pain, which may result from frequently clenching their teeth. This is almost like a reaction or a reflex the body does during times of stress.

Teeth grinding can also happen because of anxiety or abnormalities in the alignment of teeth, such as an overbite or an underbite. Other folks may experience that their sleep apnea is causing their teeth to grind. Either way, if you are experiencing pain due to jaw clenching, visit your dentist and get the correct treatment.

It’s not always easy to tell if you are grinding your teeth. Most people experience sleep bruxism, except for people grinding their teeth during the day or at the time of peak stress.

Symptoms of teeth grinding may include but are not limited to the following:

  • May experience a dull headache or a more painful one.
  • Jaw pain may occur.
  • Neck pain and shoulder pain could be linked to tooth grinding.
  • Sore facial muscles.
  • Bleeding gums may occur.
  • Damaged or worn teeth.
  • Problems sleeping.

Why is Bruxism Bad?

Bruxism can damage perfectly healthy teeth leading to eventual tooth loss. Tooth loss can result because the gums, with time, begin to recede and causes the roots to expose for some people and, thus, loss of teeth. Grinding your teeth can also cause loss of fillings and lead to damaged crowns. Visiting a dentist can help rule out tooth problems and create solutions to manage them.

Image Credit | Unsplash

How Can I Manage Bruxism at Home?

Have a custom-made biteplate or gum guard for sleeping

Your dentist can help you by making a custom-fit bite plate or night guard that you could wear while you sleep. This will prevent damage to your teeth and ease the pain associated with teeth grinding.

You could also buy a night guard from a health store, but these often require boiling a standard mould to fit the mouth more comfortably. It doesn’t always work as effectively as when the dentist makes one suited to your mouth.

Try relaxing techniques

Finding ways to relax can help you significantly reduce jaw clenching, headaches, and other associated symptoms. You can try breathing exercises, guided meditation, and exercises like yoga to get into a calm state. Gentle stretches can also assist in creating a relaxed state of body and mind.

Image credit | Unsplash


Doing exercise like walking, cycling, and weightlifting can help your body produce hormones associated with relaxation and reduce stress hormones. Some people can also benefit from gentle, low-impact exercises on the joints, like swimming and gentle yoga routines.

Create a Good Sleep Routine

Preparing for bed is important and is more than simply hopping into bed after a flick. Some people find drinking a soothing tea like chamomile is good for relaxing and inducing sedation. Doing a meditative routine before bed can also improve your body’s state of relaxation before sleeping.

Avoid eating heavy meals right before going to sleep, as this will make it hard for your body to digest, and it can result in disturbed sleep.

Another thing to avoid is drinking too late as this can cause frequent toilet trips, again disturbing sleep.


If you are feeling pain in your jaw, having headaches, and the other symptoms mentioned in this article, it might be time to visit your dentist and discuss these with them. Treating and managing bruxism can help improve your life.

Life, A Reality

A poem by Nancy Amon (jnr)

09 January 2022

What is real?

Some folks tend to wonder,

What’s the purpose of being in the life you live, we sometimes ponder.

Is there a plan?

Is there a goal?

All these things may not entirely make sense,

Still, there’s one thing to know.

When you’re confused and feeling used

Even by the ones you hold dear and near,

Don’t worry, my friend,

It will all work out in the end,

Some things may happen quickly, while others take longer,

Still, know that even in this time you’ll become stronger.

Continue your journey of faith and hope!

You can also check out the December 2021 poem and other good reads from my website.

If you haven’t checked out my poem “Reflection” and “Expression” go ahead and have a read 😊

A Closing of Another Year

A poem by Nancy Amon (jnr)

2021 has come, and 2021 has gone,

Although some things we faced were huge, we can rest assured that we never faced them alone.

So many things have risen and developed during the time,

Sometimes we wonder, will we ever make it through? Are we going to be fine?

From the departure of loved ones near and far,

We look up to the sky and envisage them as they twinkle bright like a star.

Still, we go through life with many plans,

Sometimes trying to break metal with our hands.

Every year we face a new chapter in life,

What exciting ventures await?

Work, love, friends or family,

It may be one of these for some and for others many.

Either way, life takes you, venture in it with faith and hope,

Even when things look negative, a way will be made, and you’ll be able to cope.

Happy, safe holidays,

May your journey continue with good health, joy and blessings as you enter into 2022!

Overexertion: Signs That You’re Pushing Too Hard And Ways To Prevent It

Exercise is essential, and it helps our body to work at its optimum best. But there’s a fine line between overexerting yourself and healthy exercise. Since the pandemic, everyone has been super focused on being healthier and practising wellness.

Knowing the signs of overexertion can save you from injury, muscle soreness and fatigue. Overexertion is not limited to over-exercising. You can overexert yourself at the workplace too.

Unsplash | Chalo Garcia

How Is Overexertion Caused?

Overexertion is the overuse of muscles and joints, whether to exercise or as part of the work you do. Often, overexertion put a strain on muscles and joints, later causing inflammation, stiffness and pain.

Overexertion can occur by carrying heavy objects

You may be lifting goods at work or weights at the gym that are too heavy. Sometimes lifting heavier weights in an attempt to see faster results can lead to slow muscle recovery and injury.

Working in an inadequate space

Spaces that are not functional can lead to poor posture. For example, your office table isn’t the correct height to align your eyes with the computer screen. By sitting like this for too long, you could risk hurting your back by hunching over as you work.

Your wrists could also become injured if you’re not positioning them correctly with the keyboard. Typists and computer work often see injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome due to poor posture of the wrists whilst typing.

Exercise equipment is old

Sometimes using old machinery and exercise equipment can lead to muscle strain and injury because they most likely don’t function properly.

The same applies to using old tools that are worn out and no longer work as accurately as before. Using worn tools requires the user to put more physical strain on their joints and muscles to aid the tool when the tools should benefit the user.

Repetitive motion

When trying to stay in shape for a game or lose weight, overexertion can occur when doing the same functions (runner’s knee, tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis and swimmer’s shoulder, to name a few). Repetitive motion is also prevalent in specific jobs such as typing, plumbing and maintenance.

Signs That you’re Pushing Yourself Too Hard

Unsplash | Graham Mansfield

Sometimes, when you feel like going even further and pushing harder to achieve a fitness goal, you could push harder than you are supposed to.

You’ll know that you’re overexerting your body when you experience some of the following:

Extreme fatigue

Feeling tired is a normal process and part of the after-effects when having exercised. However, when you’re feeling fatigued the whole time, it could signify that your body is working too hard and hasn’t adequately recovered after the previous session.

You may also experience fatigue if you haven’t eaten correctly before training.

Foods that work to fuel your body before a workout include dried fruit, oats, whole grain bread with a hard-boiled egg or chicken on, fruit smoothies or a combo of Greek yoghurt and fruit. These foods can help you pack protein for weight training and muscle building, as well as energy to sustain your cardio workout.

You’re losing weight fast

If you’re losing weight, that’s good progress, but losing weight should be over a reasonable amount of time. According to the CDC people who gradually lose weight at 1-2 pounds (0.45kg-0.90kg) a week is steadily is more likely to keep the weight off. Weight loss and maintaining that weight loss includes lifestyle changes, long-term goals and a balanced diet with regular exercise.

If you’re overexerting yourself, you could notice rapid weight loss. The problem with losing weight too quickly is that it tends to pile on fast afterwards. Rapid weight loss can also lead to reduced muscle mass and a slower metabolism.

You’re experiencing persistent injuries

If you’re battling injuries that take longer to heal than is normal, this may be due to your body struggling to recover. Overexertion can wreak havoc on the body and cause various changes, including slower recovery.

Irritability and moodiness

Too much overexerting yourself in exercise can disrupt your mood causing stress hormones to elevate and thus shift your mindset to become irritable.

Feeling less motivated to workout

If you’re overtraining, you may get into a state that you’re no longer eager or motivated to work out and reach those fitness goals.

Poor sleep quality

As part of your mood changes and imbalanced hormones, your sleep may be affected.

Here’s How To Curb Overexertion For Exercise

  • Stretch and warm-up before you begin your workout session
  • Take breaks between exercises.
  • Change your routine from time to time switching up workout styles
  • Take rest breaks in between workouts to help your body recover.
  • Try not to stress your muscles and joints out.
  • Allocate days for only yoga and meditation.

Reduce Overexertion When Working

  • Stand more often if your job requires long hours of sitting.
  • Walk further from your car to the office or shop
  • Take a bicycle to work or walk if you don’t live far away.
  • Bend properly when lifting something heavy. Use your legs and not your back.
  • Take walks during your breaks.


Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

Staying active is beneficial for the whole family, but knowing when to slow down is just as important. Give yourself time to recover, and don’t push the envelope too much. Take things one step at a time and opt for low impact activities that won’t harm your joints in the long run. Best of all, turn exercise into something the whole family can enjoy.

Nancy Rachael Amon Avatar

I’m a passionate author and freelance writer who loves health and wellness. I also enjoy fiction, mystery, and espionage. Authors like James Pattison and Tom Clancy are my inspiration. When I’m not writing, I find time to enjoy beautiful things, cats, art, and music.

Why Self-Care Is Important- 7 Easy Tips To Take Better Care Of Yourself

Not many people realize the importance of self-care. Self-care is often assumed as selfish. However, the concept matters and, more so, in the current times we’re living. Looking after yourself could positively impact your health and wellbeing. I will jump into some care tips in just a bit, but first, I want to explore it a bit more.

What is all the fuss about self-care?

Self-care matters and plays a vital role in humans, even when unaware of the fact that it flows into wellness on all levels.

The importance of self-care may sound like a fad to some folks, but the reality is that it isn’t. Fads are here today and gone tomorrow, as is with most trends. But when it comes to taking care of yourself, it is a commitment and an ongoing aspect of your lifestyle.

What are some of the benefits of self-care?

  • It may help to reduce anxiety
  • It could improve your self-esteem
  • It could contribute to better mental wellness
  • Self-care could help improve health
  • It may create better relationships with others

Self-care could include:

Asking for help

You do everything in your capacity to make things work, but sometimes you need help. Reaching out and asking for help is just one way you can lighten the load for yourself.

Take a step back

Sometimes you just have to see things from an outside point of view. Once you’re clear, making decisions comes easier.

Forgive yourself

There’s so many time’s that assigning fault to yourself seems the logical thing to do, even when it wasn’t your fault. Sometimes life can change people, and they tend to see this as the right thing or blame themselves for things that go wrong. Stop doing this.

You are not to blame. Learn to accept and forgive yourself. From forgiveness comes healing.

Just saying no

If you’re someone who finds it really hard to say no, now is the time to start training yourself. Sometimes people take advantage, and if you don’t draw a line and say no, then you’ll end up feeling bad moments later.

If you’re a people pleaser and only put others’ needs and wants first, then you might find that you are someone that always says “yes” even when you mean to say no.

Learning to say “no” will avoid the feeling of being taken advantage of. It will also help draw boundaries in which others will respect

Have alone time

Spending time alone is a big deal to some folks, and they may not feel that they are able to be apart from their significant other or their kids. If you take time off for yourself, this is already a huge leap in self-care.

You can go for a walk on the beach or enjoy the freedom of not being a people pleaser. Either way, you choose, time alone can help you reflect, clear your mind, and reboot your emotions.

What’s the difference between self-care and self-indulgence?

Self-care is a long-term solution to becoming a healthier and better you. It may involve the points mentioned above to achieve this change.

Self-indulgence is often misunderstood for self-care, but they are not the same things. Self-indulgence is temporary, more like a “quick fix” or fast solution.

Self-indulgence is associated with some of the following:

  • Greediness
  • Only concerned for one’s own needs
  • Makes everything about one’s self
  • Selfishness
  • Laziness

Tips for implementing the importance of self-care into your lifestyle

Self-care might not be easy for everyone, especially when you’re used to giving everything to work, family, children, spouse, volunteer, etc. If you’re reading this and can relate to these scenarios, these tips might help you out.

#1 Don’t compare yourself to others

There can only be one of you, and what you have and who you are is complete and unique. Just because someone got a job promotion or was able to go away on holiday doesn’t mean you’re not good enough to achieve or experience those things too.

A valid point to note here is that everyone has a different life and destiny. While we might meet people through the journey, we may not be destined to achieve the same goals as the next. For some, the road may seem easy, while others may be dealing with a bumpier journey. Either way, the road is for you; it is unique and tailored to your destination in the end.

The same is true that not everyone can be a rocket scientist or an Olympic swimmer. Still, the creative artist may not be as good with kids as the au pair, and the professor may not be an all-star musician. Enjoy your unique journey, and don’t compare it with another.

#2 Take a fraction of time to exercise too

When we think about exercise, we always assume it’s this hardcore muscle-pumping, weight-lifting, sweat-flowing ordeal that is undoubtedly off-putting for many. Some of us hate the idea of having to go to a gym or carving out time, especially to commit to a 1-hour workout session.

Leading a busy lifestyle may not leave any time for exercise of an hour, but thankfully this isn’t necessary. Exercise is good, and even if you can only spare 10 minutes of your day to run on the treadmill or use a stationary bike, it’s more than enough. If you don’t have gym equipment, don’t worry, you can do some stretches or aerobics that incorporate your body weight.

There are many easy yoga/stretches to try out in the comfort of your own home.

#3 Take one minute just for yourself

There are lots you can do in one minute. What many people find to help calm down and feel a sense of relaxation is breathing. We tend to breathe shallow chest breaths, which stimulates more stress hormones as this feature is actually made for stressful “fight-or-flight” situations.

However, breathing diaphragmatic breaths will help lower feeling anxious or stressed or frantic, for that matter. Breathing exercise is a vital and natural tool to help your body cope with stress. Sometimes it may look as though there isn’t one minute to spare in the clock, but trust me, even 1-minute of diaphragmatic breathing can make a huge difference.

#4 Speak positive affirmations

Affirmations may seem like “mumbo-jumbo,” but there is power in the spoken word. Words can affect us in many ways, albeit positive or negative. Embracing positive affirmations will help you to rise above unfavorable circumstances. It isn’t always easy when things are difficult, but it is possible.

Some positive affirmations may include:

  • I am worthy of love
  • I can do it
  • I am good enough
  • I deserve to be loved too
  • I am beautiful just as I am
  • I am happy driving my new car
  • I am confident
  • I am grateful and happy for my new home
  • I am happy about my new job/promotion
  • I love who I am
  • I can achieve my goals

Those are just examples, and many people tailor their affirmations to what they’re going through or want to achieve. Sometimes positive affirmations are closely associated with “mantras.”

#5 Do something you like (hobbies)

Yes, another way to take care of yourself is by doing something you like. You can use the opportunity to work on your hobbies. Perhaps you like kayaking, cycling, hiking, taking photos, drawing, listening to music, or reading, either way, enjoy your hobbies.

Sure, some hobbies are expensive; still, you can to work towards them. For example, you love art but need supplies, maybe working towards buying supplies will help keep you amped in getting your paintings going. Perhaps you enjoy building computers, and parts are costly; that said, take the time to build up your ultimate pc and enjoy the process.

Even if you don’t have all the requirements your hobby needs, work towards it. Every bit helps.

# 6 Adapt to a balanced diet and stay hydrated

Eating healthily and staying hydrated are critical for wellness. As part of self-care, taking stock of the types of foods you eat is essential. Food is our nourishment, and healthy foods will help the body with some of its many functions.

Drinking water is also essential, and staying hydrated doesn’t limit you to clear water only. Yes, water is good, but you can also enjoy herbal teas.

#7 Take it one day at a time

Sometimes it’s hard to process life and all it has to offer along the way. The ups and the downs, the easy and the difficult, everything makes it unique. When working on self-care while dealing with life, it is best to take one day at a time. When worrying about things all the time builds stress and won’t do any good.

Try in the very least to cross each bridge when you get there instead of stressing weeks, months, and years before the time. Things can change during that time, and it could change for the better.

Conclusion to why self-care is important

Taking care of yourself is all about positive lifestyle changes that will benefit you and those around you. It is a commitment and an investment towards a better self.

While self-care may not come easy for some, it is definitely something to consider. The practice is important, especially when going through challenges, as those are the times self-neglect is easier.

Don’t forget to cut yourself some slack since nobody is perfect.

Safe travels, peace and love!

11 Reasons You Need A Good Writer On Your Squad

Let’s face it, not everyone has a knack for words, and even if you do, sometimes your business keeps you busy all the time. Fining a morsel of time to focus on content creation plays a critical role in marketing your company. You need a good writer to have your back and to portray your company’s voice.

Realising that you need a good writer is probably bringing up all types of questions in your mind right about now. But don’t worry, this article will give you some clarity on how it works. Or at least some qualities of good writers.

You Need a Good Writer For Your Business – Here’s Why:

#1 A good writer has your back

A good writer has you covered when you need that critical word-formation to speak sense to your audience. Maybe you’ve wanted to announce that you’re having a webinar, but you’re not sure how to make this work in an advert. You’re writer can help you.

#2 A good freelance writer is reliable

You can’t just have any writer. You need a good writer who is also reliable. Just imagine the horror of having a scheduled blog post plan for the year and the writer you’ve hired keeps missing the deadlines? That would set in motion a whole bunch of other problems that won’t help you achieve your goals of getting the word out to your audience.

You can tell a good writer by their reliability.

#3 No need to always hold their hand

If you’re dealing with a trusted freelance writer, then you shouldn’t have a problem. Many times, managers and leader need to motivate their team to go, go, go, yet this can be time-consuming and stressful.

You don’t need to hold a reliable freelance writer’s hand because they know that time management is critical. They also know that research matters. When these little but major practices are in place, you don’t have to worry about your writer slacking. They will go, go, go without you having to push them.

#4 Search engines like Google will appreciate the fresh content

Search engines are always looking for great content that not only applies to machines but also humans. These types of content will rank better and be found easier online. This is important as you continue to grow your business. You’re copywriter or writer versed in SEO can help you with keyword placement in the article.

#5 The content on your website paints a picture

You need a good writer on your team to help speak (represent) your business. Sometimes the first thing an audience finds is a company website online. By the time they find this website, you want them to get the message that you have a solution to their problem. This is why your website’s content needs tackling by your trusted writer too.

They can help tackle your newsletters, blog posts, product labels, and anything related to writing the message for your audience.

#6 You can bolster your blog and keep the content rolling

For any busy entrepreneur, finding time to draft a blog, think about topics, check out possible keywords is time-consuming. Sometimes you just need someone to help you take care of this for you. You need a good writer to help you build your business blog and overall presence online.

#7 You’ll have extra time on your hands

You’re busy all the time, and your work-life balance isn’t always in harmony. The good news is that with a reliable writer, you get to spend more free time. You don’t have to tackle the content when they are able to do this for you.

#8 A good freelance writer is proactive

Working with a good freelance writer means that you don’t have to keep checking if they’re working or keeping up with deadlines. Who needs this type of worry in their lives? Unfortunately, some folks have a bad experience and sometimes it instills uncertainty in an entrepreneur looking to hire a new prospective freelance writer.

But it shouldn’t have to be this way. If they’ve got a good reputation, you shouldn’t have to worry about them.

#9 A trusting freelancer knows how to communicate well

One of the worst things entrepreneurs can stumble upon is a freelancer that doesn’t communicate properly and vice versa. Communication is a very important tool that sets the tone across many channels in the workplace.

Communication shouldn’t only be reserved for in-house office spaces. A good freelance writer communicates well and lets their client know if they are unclear about something. This will help to save time when producing work.

#10 Can handle constructive criticism

It’s not personal, but every writer’s been there. There are those times that criticism is necessary. A writer who can handle constructive criticism will grow and get better in their craft.

#11 rejection comes with the package

For freelancers, this is a given. Being rejected can happen daily. Yet, rejection shouldn’t be taken personally either. A good writer can handle rejection and move on.

Conclusion to why you need a good writer

While some writers specialise in technical writing like SEO, others can craft amazing stories without the fluff. Writers can be persuasive, supporting their claims. You’ll also find writers who are narrative and tell stories in long-form pieces. Sometimes narrative writing forms part of creative writing for short stories and novels.

Furthermore, you can also find descriptive writers who describe a picture for their readers, much like those seen in novels.

If you haven’t found a trusted writer yet, feel free you get in touch with me, and let’s see how we can work together.

Nancy Rachael Amon Avatar

I’m a passionate author and freelance writer who loves health and wellness. I also enjoy fiction, mystery, and espionage. Authors like James Pattison and Tom Clancy are my inspiration. When I’m not writing, I find time to enjoy beautiful things, cats, art, and music.

Cut Yourself Some Slack and Live Life with Less Stress and Self-Judgement

Let’s face it; we lead busy lives, and with the recent events in the world, almost everyone feels stressed out and overworked.

Apart from handling the pressure of “pleasing people,” like your boss, manager, supervisor, or family, and standing out from the crowd, you may want to consider these pointers. Start to cut yourself some slack and try these tips.

Don’t stress about perfection

Nobody is perfect. When you cut yourself slack, remember to bear this in mind. Perfection is non-existent, and sometimes what we hear or see on TV may influence us subconsciously.

Imperfection runs through every category, whether it’s beauty, fashion, work, or daily lifestyles.

Take the fashion industry for instance. What makes the perfect person? The fashion industry or high fashion modelling, in particular, focuses on super skinny size zero models. This isn’t realistic for healthy well-being.

Another thing driving many people to insecurities or being harder on themselves is the fake beauty standards some socials provide. From extreme photoshopping to unreal filters, it’s what online pictures in socials are portraying.

Next time you see these things, remember that it shouldn’t define who you are. It isn’t unrealistic to be imperfect. Imperfection is the real deal and sets us apart from the fake things online.

Acceptance is key

We don’t always have control over our situations, circumstances, and what’s happening in the world.

What matters is to accept things even when you can’t change them. We can’t always change things, but we can do what we can now, in the present.

If, for example, you got a bad review because a customer was upset and maybe even in the wrong. Don’t take it personally. These may be one of those scenarios that you couldn’t change.

Still, it would help if you looked forward to doing better in the present and future.

Live in the now

“There’s no time like the present…”

John Trusler

You can’t change the past, and regretting things won’t change anything. What you can do is live in the now. This present moment is what you have to do something new, albeit big or small.

Call someone and tell them that you miss them or love them. Share a positive post online because it will encourage someone out there.

Cut yourself some slack and celebrate what you have now. Celebrate the blessings big and small. It is often the smaller things in life that matter, but when we get more, let’s be grateful for that too.

Don’t identify with experience

Having experience is excellent. An experience is a tool for future choices you may need to make.

Still, it’s not a good idea to keep identifying with experience. For example, you can’t know how someone with a child feels toward their child since you don’t have any children.

One person’s experience shouldn’t define who you are and how you can help bring about positive change without first-hand experience.

Also, remember that experience brings many emotions while going through it. You are not the emotions that you experience during your discovery.

Be kind to yourself

Being kind to yourself is not an act of selfishness. Instead, it is an act of kindness. Think about how you might treat a friend who is dealing with a difficult situation. Your words and empathy would be that of kindness.

Just as you would treat someone else with compassion and kindness, so too should you treat yourself. You are worthy of love and kindness, so cut yourself some slack.


You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Just be yourself and be bold. Not everyone is themselves and some people are often too scared to be who they are for fear of being judged.

Judgment is harsh and can really take its toll on emotions. The next time people say harsh things to you, remember that being different is beautiful.

“People may hate you for being different and not living by society’s standards, but deep down, they wish they had the courage to do the same”

Kevin Hart

Safe travels, peace and love!

Nancy Rachael Amon Avatar

I’m a passionate author and freelance writer who loves health and wellness. I also enjoy fiction, mystery, and espionage. Authors like James Pattison and Tom Clancy are my inspiration. When I’m not writing, I find time to enjoy beautiful things, cats, art, and music.

Feeling Stressed? Here’s Why Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises Are So Important (Stomach Breathing)

Diaphragmatic breathing, better known as “deep breathing,” is crucial for general and mental wellness. While this might not seem like the first thing your mind goes to when looking to feel less stressed, it does work.

Diaphragmatic breathing exercises target the parasympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is, however, a topic for another post. Meanwhile, here’s the gist. “Parasympathetic” is the part of the nervous system that controls rest and digest, which works opposite to the sympathetic nervous system. The “Sympathetic” nervous system activates during stressful periods.

Getting to know some diaphragmatic breathing benefits

So, why all the fuss?

Not only is belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing beneficial to lower stress, but it also helps with many conditions. It is also the basis of focus when engaging in exercise or meditation.

Relax and unwind

Relaxes your body and mind

Stress can be debilitating. When someone suffers from chronic stress, the hormones related can lead to adverse health side-effects. The body wasn’t made to be in “stress mode” all the time.

Diaphragmatic breathing exercises can help lower stress levels and anxiety, which improves mood.

Slows down a fast heart rate

Again, the heart beats faster when certain hormones are activated. Fight-or-flight responses such as stressful conditions or situations can activate stress hormones. These hormones include cortisol, which can increase the heart rate and lead to complications like difficulty breathing.

This is another reason why diaphragmatic breath for anxiety is so effective and highly recommended as a healthy lifestyle habit.

Manage high blood pressure

When patients experience high blood pressure or chronic hypertension, it is often due to stressful lifestyles. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are more than 1 billion people worldwide that have high blood pressure (hypertension) as a chronic condition. There are many effective medications designed to help manage high blood pressure.

If you are someone with hypertension, diaphragmatic breathing exercises will help to lower your blood pressure. Using breathing exercises like deep breathing reduces stressful feelings and symptoms.

It helps the body adapt to exercise

Sometimes it’s hard to focus when exercising. Maybe you feel anxious about reaching specific goals through your progress and fitness journey. Deep breathing helps many people to stay focused and to reach their exercise target goals.

Sometimes you need it to help you balance while practicing stretches and poses, because it aids with focus.

Manage post-traumatic stress (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t something to take lightly. It often occurs after a life-changing event or a traumatic experience. Managing PTSD is very important, and medical doctors prescribe diaphragmatic breathing exercises to PTSD patients.

It also helps these individuals to manage their emotions and to react rationally in a given situation. People who suffer from depression and PTSD tend to have emotional outbursts in extremes. PTSD is manageable and the sooner the patient receives treatment the sooner they can lead a better quality of life.

Diaphragmatic breathing verses chest breathing

This is an important comparison because both ways of breathing will either increase stress hormones or increase the “feel good” hormones. Feel good hormones are what “fuels” the parasympathetic nervous system as mentioned before in this post. The opposite is said for the sympathetic nervous system.

Chest breathing

Chest breathing stimulates stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin, because it has to take place during an emergency event (fight-or-flight) situations. Many of us have adapted to chest breathing which is shallow and doesn’t “expose too much belly or mid-section fat.” This is often to look slim for photos or whatever social event calls for a slimmer, trimmer you.
Remaining in stress-mode can lead to chronic conditions and increases stress and anxiety. But to reverse this, diaphragmatic breathing exercises is important.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing exercises is easily observed in children. For example, looking at a baby breathing, you’ll be able to see the rise and fall of their tummies as they inhale and exhale.

Because diaphragmatic breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, it will course the body to feel more relaxed, and calm. This is why it is a very effective technique for instantly calming down.

How to practice diaphragmatic breathing exercise

Practicing the diaphragmatic breathing technique is fairly easy. But to make it the way you breathe everyday and all day is a bit harder to condition. While it may take time, it is completely worth it!

Step #1

Lie down on a comfortable surface on your back. You can keep your legs bent at the knees or prop a pillow under it.
Put one hand on your upper chest and the other on your stomach.


Breath in slowly through your nose. Feel the rise of your stomach with one hand. The hand on your chest shouldn’t be moving much.

Step #3

Upon exhaling, make sure that you exhale through your mouth (pursed lips). You should feel your stomach contract inward or “fall” downward by your hand that is on top of it.

Alternative to laying down

Most people prefer laying down to feel and gain the full benefits of diaphragmatic breathing, but as you progress and improve, you can practice this breathing exercise even while sitting.

  • Alternatively, you can sit down on a chair with your knees bent
  • Relax your neck and shoulders to reduce the tension that might be present
  • Similar to when laying down, you’ll put one hand on your upper chest and the other on your stomach
  • The same as laying down, you’ll breathe in deeply through your nose and feel your stomach expand
  • Through pursed lips again, you will exhale and feel your abdomen become shrunken or deflate as you do

*Tip for practicing diaphragmatic breathing exercise
It might not be easy to breathe using your diaphragm for fuller breaths, but it gets better with practice. You can start off slow and do a few breaths every hour or 3 to 4 times a day. You can also implement your session length’s for 10 too 15 minutes at a time, or 5 minutes if you don’t have much time to spare.

Either way, it becomes better with time and you’ll be able to do it with less effort.

Enjoy fresh air

Conclusion about why diaphragmatic breathing exercises are extremely good for your wellness

Diaphragmatic breathing exercises are easy to perform and highly effective. It can benefit teens, adults, and seniors. It increases the oxygen in the blood and improves health on many scales. Young children and babies tend to breathe in this manner all the time.

If you haven’t begun this type of breathing exercise then what better time to start than now. We are currently living in stressful and uncertain times. Using deep breathing as part of your lifestyle may help to improve your wellness.

Has diaphragmatic breathing helped you to feel less stressed?

Nancy Rachael Amon Avatar

I’m a passionate author and freelance writer who loves health and wellness. I also enjoy fiction, mystery, and espionage. Authors like James Pattison and Tom Clancy are my inspiration. When I’m not writing, I find time to enjoy beautiful things, cats, art, and music.



A poem by Nancy Amon (jnr)

Spread some love and hope, amidst the fear,
To all those who hear
And even share a tear…
Joy is coming…
No rumbling, no frowning, 
For it will be well soon, 
Even as we speak…
Don’t worry timid, 
Don’t worry meek.
New dawn, a new day
May strength and hope follow you all the way.

Reflection: Time goes quickly and one of the most important things is to live in the now

Reflection – A poem by Nancy Amon (jnr)

It’s been a trying year, many of us, including me, have seen loved ones depart and move on to their next journey in life. 

While it is hard to see life the same again, 
The time we had seemed so short-lived, but it was granted to us, 
It is what we had then. 
Cherishing the good memories despite the now sadness,
Let these fond memories bring us joy and fill our hearts with gladness. 
Life is never the same without those who have journeyed on,
But our lives are already set with a purpose,
Even when we feel sad and weak, we are made strong.
Our CREATOR gives us every moment in this lifetime,
May we live it as best we can,
So we can touch the hearts of others, help them to know,
That all will be better in time, all will be more than fine.