7 Life-Changing Tips for Practicing Proper Breathing
If you’re breathing correctly, then your breath will be steady, smooth, and controlled. You should feel like you’re able to get enough air into your body without straining and you should feel relaxed. Breathing should come naturally, be easy to do and should be quiet or silent. Your abdomen should expand to the sides, front and back each time you take a breath. Keep reading below for our top tips for practicing proper breathing.
The Muscles We Use in Our Bodies to Breathe
The main muscle that we use in our body for breathing is the diaphragm. The diaphragm works by tightening when we breathe in, to allow our lungs to expand in our chest. Intercostal muscles work alongside the diaphragm by contracting when we take a breath to help create space for the lungs by pulling up our rib cage. Effective use of the respiratory system enables us to breathe properly and to our maximum capacity.
Practice Breathing with Your Diaphragm
There are a number of techniques and exercises that you can try at home that will help you use your diaphragm correctly. You should try these techniques when you feel relaxed and rested. Practicing some of these techniques may help you to:
- Strengthen your diaphragm
- Decrease the amount of oxygen needed in your body
- Use less energy and exertion to breathe
- Slow down your breathing rate and make breathing easier
When you first start these exercises, you should aim to do them for around 5 – 10 minutes at a time. You may notice that you get tired while completing these exercises. This is because it takes a lot more effort to breathe properly, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. Over time, you should slowly increase the time you spend completing these exercises. You may also want to increase the difficulty by placing a book on your abdomen.
7 Tips for Better Breathing
There are a number of things you can do to improve your breathing. Here are some of our top tips to help you breathe more efficiently and easily:
- Adjust how you sleep – how you sleep can play a huge role in how you breathe. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs will help keep your spine aligned, which in turn will help open your airways. Another option is to sleep on your back with your knees bent.
- Breathe through your nose – scientists have found that people who breathe through their mouths on a regular basis are more likely to suffer from medical conditions like learning disorders, sleep problems, bad breath, and tooth decay. Research also shows that breathing through your nose instead with the help of mouth strips can lead to much more restful sleep.
- Change your lifestyle – making positive changes to your lifestyle will help keep your lungs healthy e.g. eating nutritious foods and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Meditate – meditation is the perfect time to focus on your breath without controlling it. It has also been shown to help reduce stress and improve peace of mind.
- Improve your posture – this can help enable your thoracic region and your chest to fully expand when you take a breath. Good posture has been proven to help you breathe more efficiently and effectively, which will make daily activities and exercise easier.
- Sing – research suggests that singing can help improve lung function and breathing. Studies show that people who suffer from COPD have been able to reduce their shortness of breath by singing regularly.
- Stretch – you should complete exercise that focuses on resistance, flexibility, and stretching to improve your posture. These exercises will allow you to expand your rib cage properly when you breathe.
There are a variety of breathing techniques that you could practice. Completing these activities regularly may help you become more aware of your breathing and allow you to control it better. You may also experience other benefits like better sleep,