How to Improve Breathing

How to Improve Breathing

How to Improve breathing!

Breathing - It is something we all do, without even thinking...Up to 18 times per minute, 1,080 an hour, that's 25,920 a day!

So it's a surprise that the majority of us are really bad at it? Often taking shallow breaths from our chest; And shallow breaths - like shallow people - are not smart.

Babies don't need to learn how to improve breathing, once, for all of us, it was purely instinctual. At some point many of us just stopped doing it right, we started breathing from our chest and upper abdomen, getting by on insufficient oxygen throughout the body.

Why do we forget how to breath properly? Stress, fear and anxiety have a lot to do with it. When we are anxious and tense we naturally take shallow breaths, it's part of our bodies reaction to threat. In a sense we are constantly hyperventilating but because we rarely think about it this becomes normal, we assume that's just the way its done. 

Shallow breathing is the equivalent of taking tiny little sips of air, when ideally we want a good healthy flow of it. To add to this we will often hold our breath especially in moments of tension and anxiety, thus cutting off valuable oxygen to the body when we need it the most.

Shallow breathing can lead to;

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Fuzzy thinking and brain fog
  • A weakened immune system
  • An impaired lymphatic system

Not only this but our skin can suffer also as it's not receiving enough fresh oxygenated blood, our muscles tire easily during a workout as they're not getting the right amount of oxygen and we can feel constantly tired and lethargic because there are not enough vital nutrients being carried in the blood.

Breathing incorrectly can also affect the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. While oxygen is important for our bodies, CO2 is just as vital.The physiological effect of a lack of CO2 can make you feel 'spaced out' and can lead to panic attacks, insomnia, dizziness and extreme fatigue.

So breathing correctly means that our bodies are getting the right amount of oxygen, which replenishes our brain and other vital organs with all essential nutrients. Slow, rhythmic breathing will help regulate the flow of oxygen and CO2, slow the heart rate - easing anxiety - and ensure your circulation is carrying the optimum amount of nutrients around the body. Regulating your breathing will also help boost your performance during aerobic exercise as your muscles will be fully replenished with the right amounts of energy-giving oxygen.

The benefits of taking the time to improve breathing technique are almost endless because proper breathing can help improve most aspects of our lives; 

 Appearance Benefits:

  • Wrinkles may be reduced
  • Skin is radiant
  • Improved posture
  • Improved confidence (which is sexy)

Emotional Benefits:

  • Improve overal mood
  • Reduces stress, Anxiety and Fear
  • Self acceptance Self-esteem and Self confidence 

Mental Benefits:

  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Improves ability to react under pressure
  • Lowerd stress means greater productivity

Smart lifestyle Benefits:

  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce cravings, help regulate weight, 
  • Reduce blood pressure, improve blood circulation, detoxify body

And did I mention it's free, it's natural and it has no adverse effects (when done properly)!

How to improve Breathing- Diaphragmatic or Belly Breathing

To breathe properly, you need to use your diaphragm, the large sheet-like muscle that lies at the bottom of the chest cavity. 

  • Sit comfortably or lie on your back on the floor. Place your left hand on your upper chest and your right hand on your abdomen, in the 'gap' of your rib cage.
  • When you breathe in and out, your left hand should remain still and only your right hand should move up and down. If your left hand is moving, your breathing is too shallow and you are not using your diaphragm as you should.
  • Try to alter your breathing so only your right hand moves as you do so. 

The more we practice Belly breathing the more our body learns to breath this more improved more efficient way until we're doing it without thinking.

How to improve Breathing

Use your imagination to become more aware of your breathing. Associate your breath with an image that helps you visualise the breath moving in your body.

It could be a ball of light light, a cool flame, a bucket of a well transporting the breath up from your lungs, whatever feels right for you. Use this image each time you think about your breathing.

Now Imagine that you have a balloon in your tummy. Every time you breathe in, the balloon inflates.

Each time you breathe out, the balloon deflates. Notice the sensations in your abdomen as the balloon inflates and deflates. Your abdomen rising with the in-breath, and falling with the out-breath. 

One in-breath and one out-breath are one cycle so try to slow your breathing down to eight to ten cycles per minute without breathing from your upper chest area. Breathing slowly and smoothly is the key.

Little warning,those suffering from asthma, anxiety attacks or smoker's cough may experience trouble inhaling deeply, some may even experience dizziness. 

You still can benefit from these techniques, just please take it gradually, always inhale in and out at a level most comfortable for you.

So how to improve breathing?

Taking some moments everyday to use your breath is a smart idea. One good way to do this would be by taking a regular yoga class, breath work is an intrinsic part of yoga practice. Regular meditation is another good practice for us to become aware of breath while reaping many benefits for our mind and body.

However you don't really need a class to start improving your breathing right now, you can easily introduce improved breathing and incorporate it into your smarter life  by listening to this hypnotic audio

This short relaxing audio leads you into a calm place where you can follow simple instructions to breathe slowly and deeply using diaphragmatic breathing.

Watch and listen to the introducing breathing youtube video and enjoy the images while improving your breathing.

Breathing benefits

How to improve Breathing

Smart breathing

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