Michael Mahoney is a clinical hypnotherapist who specializes in IBS in the UK. Although it says stomach muslces its actually relaxing all the gut muscles.
This is a good thing to learn.
Mike suggests How to Relax Your Tummy Muscles
Firstly you have identified that your stomach is not relaxing. However you know it can, becuase you have done it in the past. OK so just take a few mo's and study your breathing..
If your chest rises when you breathe in then you are taking big breaths, not deep breaths which you should be A deep breathe is when you chest stays still, and your tummy moves out.
To get it as it as it should: First lie down. Put a book on your tummy, and breathe your breathe into your tummy and feel the book begining to rise. (Don't force your tummy muscles out - let the breath fill your tummy )<You will have to concentrate a little to start with. Do this with your eyes open. Once you are doing that comfortably, put the book on your chest. breathe into your tummy and keep the book still. Your tummy should move, not your chest. This happens quite naturally at night when we sleep - (assuming you don't have any breathing health problems)
Do this with your eyes open too.When you have mastered that, put the book back onto your tummy, take gentle breaths and breathe into your tummy under the book again. This time with your eyes closed. Then after 6 successful deep breathes, open your eyes, put the book back on your chest, close your eyes and let the breathe go into the tummy again, chest remaining still. OK, When you can do this, do it without the book. You will notice a difference in the calming, and your stomach relaxing. To help think of each breathe having a relaxing colour, and the colour relaxes your stomach even more. Try this a few times a day and let me know how you go on. This is just gentle control of breathing patterns. So easy, we do it in our sleep anyway.