Breathing is such a natural and mundane task that we often don’t give that much thought to it; you breathe out and in, and there’s nothing more to it… or so we thought. It has come to light that there is, in fact, such a thing as wrong breathing. Discover the different ways to breathe.
Ways You’re Breathing Wrong
Using Your Mouth
We’ve all done it at one point in our lives, either while heaving after completing a strenuous lap around the field or after climbing a flight of seemingly endless stairs. The point is, increased physical activity leads us to cope with the body’s rising oxygen demands by turning to both air passages available to us to make up the deficit. However, breathing via the mouth is ill-advised as the air will probably irritate the lungs since it doesn’t have the right warmth and moisture content as air breathed through the nose.
While breathing is a chore automatically taken care of by our nervous systems (hence why people don’t suffocate in their sleep), you may have inadvertently trained your body into an undesirable pattern of belly breathing. In other words, while you’re drawing breath, your stomach is expanding instead of relaxing, which in turn means you’re only using a portion of your chest or lung capacity.
Weak breathing can also stem from bad sitting positions like hunching over a laptop for extended periods. When the spine isn’t straight on the backrest, and the neck is under strain, this tension extends back to your thoracic cavity and compromises your breathing.
How to Breathe the Right Way
Use Your Nose and Diaphragm
Aside from adding moisture and heat to outside air, the nose also has filters that take out contaminants (bacteria and viruses) that would otherwise interfere with your immune system. Consequently, develop a habit of nasal breathing. Secondly, start training yourself to breathe with the diaphragm, i.e. by taking sufficiently deep breaths. Since many of us rarely remember to check in on our breathing every so often, you can set reminders to keep yourself in line.
As mentioned above, breathing makes up one of the body’s automatic nervous responses that go with or without involvement from the conscious part of your mind. As a result of this, when you are stressed or worried about something, you start to exhibit strenuous patterns (belly breathing). Therefore, setting aside some time to relax, e.g. through meditation, yoga, watching TV, or whatever it is that’s your cup of tea, can significantly better how you breathe.
Sniffling, coughing and snoring are all indications that you’re breathing is not optimal. These can be due to poor sleeping habits such as sleeping on your back or chronic allergies. For the former case, side sleeping falls among the remedies while you can deal with the latter by talking to your doctor for assistance in pinpointing and getting rid of allergies in your environment.
Proper breathing holds many benefits for your body, including better digestion, increased energy levels, and improved blood flow, just to name a few.