Try This And See If You Are Breathing Right

Take a moment and assess your breathing. Do you take long deep breaths? Or do you find yourself taking short and quick gasps for air?

If you find yourself in the latter category, you could suffer from breathlessness — the uncontrollable feeling you get as you struggle to breathe. 

Whether it occurs out of the blue or as a result of exertion; the inability to breathe properly can be scary and help from a doctor should be sought if it strikes often.

Poor inhalation can also have numerous negative effects.

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"If you don't breathe properly, you could develop a weakened immune system, poor energy levels, sluggish digestion, high blood pressure, tension in muscles, headaches, body aches and pains, heart issues, sleeping problems, and constant mind chatter," says breathing expert Caroline Kremer.

But how can you tell if you're inhaling correctly? "Take a moment to focus on your breath pattern. Get a sense of which parts of the body are moving with the breathing and ask yourself these questions;

  • One, does it feel shallow or deep, quick or slow? 
  • And two, does it feel satisfactory?" suggests Caroline.

"If only the abdomen moves or only the chest moves, you aren't breathing properly," she explains.

"Additionally, if it feels shallow and quick (16 - 20 breaths a minute) or if it doesn't feel satisfactory, you aren't breathing properly."

When attempting to breathe effectively, Caroline recommends focusing on the full cycle of how your inhalation moves through your body.

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"The idea is for the natural inhalation to commence in the abdomen, with it expanding slightly, and then for the action to move up through the ribcage towards the throat," she says.

"You are looking for a 360-degree movement of the lungs."

We enlisted Caroline's help for her top tips to ensure you're breathing effectively and making full use of your lungs:

1. Begin by lying on your back with your arms to the sides and your palms facing up.
2. Take a normal breath in through the nose.
3. Make an "S" sound that is slow, strong and a consistent exhalation.
4. When you get to what feels like the bottom of the breath, be encouraged to go on a little longer; this begins to tighten the throat, abdominal muscles and draws up on the pelvis.
5. Pause for a couple of seconds.
6. Let go and just breathe — give the body permission to let the breath come in naturally all the way up to the throat.
7. Rest, allowing the body to just breathe for itself for a couple of minutes and until the breath has settled.
8. Consider your previous breath pattern — does it still feel the same?
9. Repeat steps 1 through 7.

Caroline Kremer is a breathing expert and Bowen practitioner.
From: Good Housekeeping UK
Photo By Getty

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