How To Breathe - It's Not As Easy As You Think!

Your breathing should be steady, smooth, and controlled. While breathing you should feel relaxed. You should not feel as if you are straining to get air into your lungs. Also known as respiration, breathing is a complex process, which involves several parts of the body including the lungs, diaphragm, and intercostal muscles.  

Improper breathing could interfere with your body functions. Poor breathing habits could be messing up your nervous system, heart, digestion, brain, and muscles. Poor breathing could also compromise the quality of your sleep and have a negative impact on your mood. Breathing is usually an unconscious process and most people rarely think about it. However, there are some ideal ways to breathe!

Use your nose and not your mouth to breathe.

You can choose to breathe through the nose or the mouth. Unless your nose is congested, you should always breathe through the nose because it helps your lungs to work more effectively. Breathing through the nose facilitates the intake of nitric oxide and enhances the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Your nostrils are also able to filter pollutants from the air and prevent them from entering the body. The nostrils help to warm cold air and humidify dry air before you inhale. You should only breathe through the mouth if you have sinus congestion or if you are exercising.  

Practice belly breathing 

Belly breathing is the most efficient way to breathe. It entails bringing air down towards your belly. Your belly expands as the diaphragm contracts, and this helps to supply air to the lungs. Belly breathing helps to create a negative pressure inside the chest. This, in turn, helps to draw adequate air into the lungs.

Pursed lip breathing 

You can improve your breathing techniques by practicing pursed lips breathing. This technique entails breathing through the nose while keeping the mouth closed. Ensure that you inhale for around two minutes. Purse your lips as if whistling and exhale gradually. Repeat the exercises until you learn the art of effective breathing. 

Diaphragmatic breathing tips

You can practice proper breathing by sitting straight in a chair or lying down. Place your hands on the abdomen then take a slow breath through the nose with your mouth closed. You will be able to feel the rise and fall of your abdomen as you breathe. With pursed lips, breathe out slowly, slower than the inhalation. 

Learning the right breathing techniques will improve your lung efficiency and help alleviate anxiety and stress. Consistent practice can help master the art of proper breathing.