Breathing is a vital process that our body performs non-stop, and proper breathing makes all the difference. This process is repeated between 17,000 and 30,000 times every day for as long as a person is alive. We can go without food or water for long periods, but not without oxygen.
We bring oxygen into our cells when we breathe, which reacts with molecules and extracts energy from that reaction. We get carbon dioxide as a byproduct of that reaction. We usually think of carbon dioxide as bad, but we don’t comprehend that it serves a purpose. It breaks the bond between hemoglobin and oxygen, traveling further.
When we hyperventilate (that is, over breathe), we expel too much carbon dioxide and end up with low oxygen levels because it remains bonded to hemoglobin. An interesting fact is that more than 95% of people over breathe.
With this in mind, we can see that very few of us breathe in a way that’s natural and genuinely beneficial for the human body. Here, we’ll go over everything to know about proper breathing and why it’s crucial for your overall health.
What is Proper Breathing?
The first thing you’re probably wondering is, “Am I breathing properly?”
Well, fortunately, there’s a simple exercise to put that to the test:
- Place your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your stomach while lying down.
- Take a deep breath through your nose and count to four. Which hand moves first?
- If it’s your left hand, you’re doing it correctly, as your stomach, rather than the chest, is expanding during the inhale.
- When you’re exhaling, you want your right hand to be the first to go down.
This way, you’re absorbing all of the oxygen (rather than taking shallow breaths from your chest) and storing it at the bottom of your lungs. You can do breathing exercises to help you relieve stress and get in the habit of breathing correctly. One interesting technique you can try is Buteyko breathing, which helps improve breathing quality, reduce asthma symptoms, and even repair chronic congestion.
Signs of Poor Breathing
We usually associate poor breathing with feelings of anxiety and being upset, as well as panic attacks, but there’s more to it than that. Poor breathing usually involves:
- Holding your breath
- Feeling short of breath
- Feeling the need to take a long breath
- Running out of breath
- Taking lots of short breaths
Even though all of these can be linked to our emotions, other factors are at play.
Some of it is a result of our way of life. We squeeze our lungs if we are always sitting and are slouched over our desks and laptops, making it difficult to breathe deeply. Instead, we’re taking short, shallow breaths.
Or we don’t exercise enough, mainly cardio, which forces us to breathe correctly.
Likewise, when we are constantly stressed and tense, it’s easy to fall into the habit of taking short breaths all the time.
One piece of advice for avoiding poor breathing is to breathe as much as possible via your nose. Your mouth lacks natural barriers to microorganisms, but your nose has them.
Benefits of Proper Breathing
Proper breathing has numerous advantages for your overall health. For example:
- You get stronger and healthier.
- Endorphins are released in more significant quantities, promoting sensations of natural well-being.
- Your muscles will relax.
- The heart rate and blood pressure both drop.
- It helps you manage your emotions and concerns so that you don’t give rise to excessive worry, stress, and feelings of panic.
- Deep inhaling and exhaling is a sort of natural cleansing process, helping you direct your energy more constructively.
- You’ll have a sharper and more focused mind.
- Proper breathing helps you ground yourself at the moment to feel alive and present.
- If you take a few deep breaths before going to bed, you’ll get a better night’s sleep.
- One of the critical advantages of proper breathing is improved physical performance and endurance.
Proper Breathing In Closing
Proper breathing can help you with various physical and mental health issues. It isn’t a universal solution to everything that’s bothering you, but it’s a potent tool for helping you face and handle all of life’s challenges in a calm, confident way. Just remember that you need to practice it regularly (daily) to have the best results, like with anything else. So, take a deep breath and get started right away.