Breath is an essential part of life, and learning to do it correctly can have a significant impact on everyday activities. Improving the mechanics of your breathing is a fast and easy way to positively impact your life. The simplest way to do this? Learn about nasal breathing and diaphragm breathing. These are the foundation of breathing and remain useful in a variety of situations.
Nasal Breathing: The nose performs more than thirty functions to prepare the aid for our body. When breathing through the mouth, the air is not warmed, humidified, or cleaned. When inhaled through the nose, the air is somewhat purified and readied for consumption. One of the easiest ways to improve your breathing mechanics is to train yourself to nose breathe all day, every day.
There are two actions you can take to foster nasal breathing. Ensure your tongue is on the roof of your mouth, and ask a friend to tell you when your mouth is open. Breathing awareness goes a long way to improving it. When the tongue is on the roof of your mouth, it is much harder for the mouth to drop open by itself. By stopping the impulse to breathe through your mouth, you will develop better habits and take in better, cleaner air.
Diaphragm Breathing: The diaphragm is the strongest breathing muscle. Attached to the bottom of the lungs, it contracts downward to create a negative force, causing the lungs to suck in air. After exhaling, the diaphragm snaps back against the bottom of the lungs, pushing the air out. When stressed or tired, people switch from diaphragm breathing to chest breathing, which utilizes the intercostal muscles of the chest.
While chest breathing is effective, it is not nearly as efficient as breathing in the diaphragm. To breathe better, focus on the space at the bottom of your sternum. Most people will find they breathe involuntarily with the diaphragm after focusing on this space for a couple of days.