Every, body cell requires oxygen to survive. To reach oxygen to every cell, deep breathing is the only way.
No one taught us how to breathe, because it’s automatic. Every child till the age of 4 to 5 breathes properly. But as we age, our breathing pattern gets changed; we shift from the right way of breathing to the wrong way of breathing.
So how will you know if you are breathing right or wrong? Let’s get started to know that.
In this article, you will get to know how breathing affects you both –physically and mentally, you will know the benefits of breathing and you will also learn the most important thing – the proper way of breathing.
There are two types of breathing – Belly breathing and Chest breathing (we can also say them the right way of breathing and wrong way of breathing. Whether your breathing pattern is right or wrong, we can identify through these 2 types of breathing- either you are a chest breather or a belly breather.
Let’s do a simple test to identify what kind of breathing pattern you have.
Wrong-way of breathing:
To do the test, put one hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in.
What do you notice? Is your chest rising? Are your shoulder and chest moving?
If it is so then you are a chest breather, and this is the wrong way of breathing.
The right way of breathing:
Now this time put your hand on your belly. Take a deep breath in; let your abdomen expand fully. Feel your belly rises, but your chest and shoulder will not move as shown in the picture below.
Now exhale and feel your belly flatten.
This breathing pattern is also called belly breathing. In this breathing method, your abdomen is used and this is the right way of breathing.
Could you see the difference?
1. In the first experiment, you took the breath from your chest. It is called Chest breathing or shallow breathing. In this activity, chest muscles are used.
2. In the second experiment, you took breath from the belly or abdomen, or stomach. It is called belly breathing or deep breathing. Your diaphragm muscles are used for this belly breathing.
Why belly breathing is the right way of breathing?
Why we all should breathe from our belly and how breath affects us both physically and mentally? So let’s start by understanding a little bit about the diaphragm.
The diaphragm is a little dome-shaped muscle within the abdominal area that is what actually goes up and down as we breathe. We take a deep breath in, the diaphragm goes down. When we exhale or blow it out diaphragm comes up.
The diaphragm works like a pumping machine. As you inhale, the diaphragm contract, it moves down, and then as you exhale, the diaphragm is going to get relax and come back up so you have this nice pumping action happening in the diaphragm.
So as this pumping action is happening it’s massaging, and it’s turning or rolling all of the vital organs, sending blood, sending nutrients. It helps these organs work optimally and it aids in digestion and elimination.
But after the age of 4- 5, we adopt the wrong pattern of breathing. We actually lessen the signal from the brain to the diaphragm as we get older by not allowing the diaphragm to work at its maximum efficiency. The elasticity of that area become lessens as well.
A lot of us breathe from the chest. It’s quick, it’s shallow, & it’s soppy. So you are not getting this rolling and turning action happening in your organs. So that can lead to constipation, it can lead to your organs not working properly.
Have you ever watched the baby breathe? They breathe so gentle, so easy. They breathe from their stomach instead of their chest like we do as adults. Watch their rib cage expands naturally and gently without overwork. A baby, who knows nothing about life but knows everything on how to live their life.
So, these are the reason we all need to breathe properly. And proper way of breathing is the most important thing you can do to get the maximum amount of oxygen into the lungs. So that all the cells, tissues, and organs can receive that oxygen so they can stay healthy and strong.
Benefits of Belly Breathing (or deep breathing):-
1. Oxygen reaches to each cell in the body.
2. Improves the quality of blood circulation.
3. Lower your stress level.
4. Reduce your blood pressure.
5. Improves metabolism.
6. Improves digestion. (Problems like gas, bloating, acidity are reduced through deep breathing).
7. Increases the body’s alkaline level. (Excessive junk food causes acidity. This leads to an increased acidic pH level in the body, which may cause the possibility of growth in toxic cells).
8. Deep breathing reduces over-eating.
9. It cleanses your body.
10. Brings a glow to the face.
11. Relief from pimples and acne.
12. Entire body skin glows.
13. Releases Endorphin. (When we are happy
and joyful, our body releases endorphin also called as “Happy-Hormone”. The level of this natural mood booster ‘endorphin’ also tends to increase when we perform deep breathing. In turn, it makes you feel happier and healthier).
14. Energizes your body.
15. Relaxes your mind and body, experience calmer and healthier.
16. Improves decision making. It will reset your emotions to get that serenity feeling. You will experience improved decision-making performance.
17. Improve sleeping quality. (It helps to get deep sleep. Use diaphragmatic breathing just before bed to get relax and deep sleep).
18. Deep breathing or belly breathing is one of the true secrets to energy and longevity.
There are uncountable benefits of deep breathing. Because of less oxygen intake, feeling sadness, or having mood swings can often be part of normal life especially in the current pandemic situation. To control this sadness or reduce stress levels, you can practice deep breathing. So, let’s begin learning deep breathing or belly breathing technique.
Belly breathing technique:
1. You can sit or lie flat in a comfortable position
2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and another hand on your chest as shown in the picture.
3. Now, take a deep breath in through your nose and let your abdomen push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
4. Slowly breathe out through the mouth. While breathing out Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
6. Notice how you feel at the end of this exercise.
To have a healthy life, start practicing this diaphragmatic breathing from today. Because, with healthy lungs, your diaphragm does most of the work when you inhale to bring fresh air in and exhale to get carbon dioxide and other gases out of your lungs as well as your body.
Oxygen is life and the more oxygen we get into our body the more life we can live.
Proper breathing elevate your mood, increases your stamina, your mental clarity as well as detoxifying your own internal system.
When you are breathing improperly, the muscles of your chest, as well as the muscles around the rib cage are working more than they should.
Proper breathing comes from the internal gut, from our internal stomach, from our diaphragm. When we breathe in, our stomach our internal gut should be the only thing working.
Breathing in allows the oxygen to come in and when we exhale which is very important because we are releasing carbon dioxide as well as other gases & toxins.
If you are breathing shallow with your chest, you are going to only be using the top half of your lungs. So you will be deprived of the benefits of getting more oxygen into your body, and detoxification of your body from toxins.
But when you are using the internal diaphragm and your stomach, you will get all these benefits, you will get much more oxygen, much more health, and much more life.