Lately I have been diving deep into proper breathing and understanding how important it is to our everyday living. We need food, water, and sleep to survive, and we can go days and weeks without these. But if you hold your breath you will either pass out or die within minutes. So why are we not taking the same approach to how we breathe? We see everyone counting macros, pounding the water, tracking their sleeping every night, but we never see people talking about how they are optimizing their breathing for everyday life.
You are probably thinking to yourself, “I breathe correctly, and I have no problem in that department.” Well let me ask you three questions that might make you rethink that:
1. Do you breathe through your mouth or your nose on a daily basis?
2. Do you notice your breath when just relaxing? For example: Does your belly rise first when you inhale or does your chest?
3. Do you chew with your mouth open, without realizing it?
These are just simple things to look for. The first thing we do when we are born is take a big inhale and let out a long exhale. Breathing affects everything in the body and if we are doing it properly it will lead to improving your daily activities and overall health. Some benefits to proper breathing:
- Increased energy production
- Increased mental clarity
- Lowered stress, anxiety and tension in the body
- Helps produce calmness and relaxation
- Helps with digestion
How to Start Breathing Properly
I challenge all of you to start focusing on breathing through the nose; really pay attention to how you're taking that breath in. If you are not sure how to do that then here are some ways to help promote proper breathing patterns.
1. Lay flat on your back, put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, then inhale through the nose. Feel your back and abdomen expand first before the chest rises. Then, exhale and push your abdomen down towards the ground; feel your back stay flat against the floor.
2. While standing, put one hand on your back, then one hand on your abdomen: go through the same steps as I explained above. You can do this pretty much anywhere. I recommend using some kind of feedback that allows for you feel the proper breathing patterns. Once you have that down then we can try playing around with it in different positions. Practice breathing properly. If you ever feel tired or just overwhelmed, take a couple deep inhales and exhales through the nose, and really be one with your breath.
Take control of your life with one breath at a time.