How To Breathe Properly (And Why It Is So Important)
Do you know what the most important thing for a human being is?
It's not water, it's not food, it's not shelter.
You can survive a month without food, you can survive a week without water, but you can not survive more than 5 minutes without oxygen.
Ranked on the list of things necessary for survival, Oxygen comes in at #1.
The problem is that most people never think about it.
Specifically, most people never think about how much oxygen they are getting.
Most people take breathing for granted. It's a function that your body does automatically, so why bother thinking about it?
You may think that as long as you are breathing then you’re in the clear. As long as you can breathe, then you’re getting all the oxygen you need.
Unfortunately not all breathing is created equally.
There is a right way to breathe and a wrong way to breathe. Just like there is a right way to train and a wrong way to train.
Depending on which way you are breathing, it can lead to positive or seriously negative health effects for you down the road.
This is why we're going to teach you how to breathe properly.
Two Types Of Breathing
There are two types of breathing.
- Shallow breathing
- Deep breathing
Shallow breathing is when you draw minimal breath into your lungs. This is also known as chest breathing.
It means that instead of completely filling your lungs during each breath, you are bringing in the smallest amount of air you need to survive.
Unfortunately, a lot of people unconsciously practice shallow breathing all day long. Inhaling through the mouth, holding their breath, and taking in less oxygen overall.
If you do this, you are semi-suffocating yourself and your brain all the time.
These are some of the negative side-effects that can accompany shallow breathing:
- Increased Stress
- Repressed Immune System
- Inability to concentrate
(Note: Many of these symptoms are similar to the negative effects felt when men experience low testosterone levels.)
Deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is the opposite of shallow breathing.
It is marked by taking long, slow, deep breaths, pulled into your lungs by your diaphragm. This makes your belly expand outward as you gradually fill your lungs.
Your body then receives a massive increase in oxygen that can lead to many helpful benefits such as:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Increased cognitive function
- Reduced heart rate
- Increased energy levels
- Decreased stress
- Relaxed muscles
- More restful sleep
How To Breathe Properly
When you practice breathing deeply, the most important thing to pay attention to is your belly.
You breathe deeply by using your diaphragm. When you are using your diaphragm properly your belly will expand outwards.
You can practice this sitting in a chair or laying down on your back.
Once you are sitting or laying down comfortably, place one hand over your belly button and the other hand in the middle of your chest.
Next, breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Focus on pushing out your stomach as your belly gets filled with air.
The hand on your belly should raise, while the hand on your chest should stay in the same place.
As you exhale slowly through your nose or mouth, you should feel your stomach pulling back in.
Now you know how to breathe properly.
To quickly recap those steps:
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position
- Place one hand on your belly button
- Place your other hand in-between your nipples
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose
- Concentrate on filling your belly up with air
- If done correctly the hand over your belly will raise up while the hand in-between your nipples will stay in the same position
- Slowly exhale through your nose or mouth and feel your stomach pull back in
Whenever you find yourself getting stressed out, have trouble concentrating, or feel lethargic, remember this quick tip...
Breathe In With Your Belly To Breathe Deeply.
Whatever problems that you may be dealing with, taking a few deep breaths might be exactly what your body needs to keep moving forward.