- when waiting nervously, or driving near idiots
- if in danger of a car accident or impact injury
- to poop nicely and not have hemorrhoids
- if angry
There are "shelves" of this connective tissue cross-wise to support the brain, the tongue, the lungs and breathing, the pelvic contents when we stand. We breathe when the horizontal diaphragm moves up and down. We panic when the diaphragm freezes, as when we are "punched in the solar plexus" or "have the wind knocked out".
Many of us have had belly impact injuries, even that sudden stop in a childhood toboggan. Injury stiffens our tissues. Shallow or deep breathing patterns are associated with emotions, so a stressful home or job can limit our breathing to a cautious level (animal signal: don't attack me). I've even had two clients who spasmed their diaphragms from too much of the yoga "bellows breath"! How can we breathe better in this modern world?
Breathing OUT without controlling the "in" that follows lets your body reset its stress level. Your vision will slightly sharpen; good for driving. You are less likely to say something hasty; good for relationships. If in the bathroom, you will discover you are pushing from a lower, more appropriate place when you exhale to poop. The diaphragm is too powerful and people even burst facial veins from forceful pooping; don't do it!
And happily, if you receive an impact and are exhaling your lungs will not be injured as they're likely to be with a (wrong) sharp inhale.
So please join me in conscious, joyous relaxing. When in doubt, breathe out!