We Are All Breathing Wrong

What is the most essential thing to life? Before food, water, and shelter. That is oxygen, and without oxygen the need for food, water, and shelter wouldn’t be need because we would all be dead. The crazy part about oxygen is that how we are getting the oxygen is wrong. This may come to be a slap in the face but you’re breathing wrong and I used to breathing wrong until I started to look deeper into breathing and the science behind it.

In this article we are going to talk about why you’re breathing is wrong and how to change it to the right breathing.

You can’t blame yourself for your incorrect breathing because you and I are luckily. We are luckily because our Medulla, a neural tissue just above the spinal cord that makes up part of our brain stem controls things like our heart rate, swallowing, digestion, and our breathing. If it wasn’t for our Medulla then we all would be dead. The reason is because the Medulla makes our breathing automatic, and if your breathing wasn’t automatic you would have to consciously breathe and we would forget the breathe. Think about all the tasks and physical things that we do. Imagine having to be conscious of your breathing while doing these physical tasks. One of these things would suffer. The task wouldn’t get done correctly or you would stop breathing. So you should take the time and say thank you for your Medulla because with it, you and I would be dead.

Now this is a double edged sword because yes it is amazing that our breathing is automatic but over time your method of breathing has become wrong.

How Am I Breathing Wrong?

Take a deep breath right now, and pay attention to where it’s coming from. Your deep breath is most likely coming from your chest. This call this swallow breathing. Swallow breathing isn’t good because there is the lower part of the lungs that is not being reached when taken a deep breath. This causes your body to not get the proper supply of oxygen. Breathing from your chest is the wrong way to breathe.

Where Is The Center Of Your Body?

Some might say the heart is the center but without being esoteric, if you were to cut your body in half where would you cut the body at? You wouldn’t cut your body from the heart, you would cut it from the stomach to the lower stomach. That is your center. Your stomach is the center of your body. Now take a look at a sleeping baby, where are they breathing from? They are breathing from the belly or for a lack of better words, from the diaphragm. This the proper way to breathe. When you breathe from the belly, you find your center. This is how you find your center. A lot of people are off balanced, because they are too much in one part of the body. They are either too much in the head, too much in the chest, or too much in the legs. This is due to too much swallow breathing(chest breathing).

You are unbalanced because first and foremost you aren’t getting enough oxygen throughout the entire body due to improper breathing. The stomach is the strongest part of the respiratory system but you are using your chest to breathe. Second because you haven’t found your center, which is your stomach.

Why Does Our Breathing Go From Our Diaphragm To Our Chest As We Get Older?

I don’t have any proven scientific answer but if I would take an educated guess it is due to our increased stress level. Babies and kids don’t have any stress, so their breathing is centered down in the base of the spine. Over time we become more conscious of our life, so then we become conscious of our stress. Then our breathing goes from our belly to our chest. All your stress is built up and locked in your chest.

Why Is Shallow Breathing Bad For You And Your Body?

First the reason we shallow breath is because of our environment. This is an automatic instinct when there is pollution and heat in the air. Our body doesn’t want to get those toxic particles from the air into our lungs, so we shallow breathing, not allowing our body to breathe in all of those toxic particles from the air. It’s a survival mechanism but too much shallow breathing is bad. Then you have too much anxiety, that causes chest breathing. Also shallow breathing is bad for you because when you shallow breathe, your body remains in a recurring state of stress. STRESS IS A SILENT KILLER. Stress has taken millions of people’s lives.

The cycle goes like this: Our shallow breathing causes stress and our stress causes shallow breathing. So you are then in a constant state of stress. The issue is that our shallow breathing then becomes automatic, so being in stress then becomes a habit. Then on top of all this stress, the shallow breathing causes increase of sympathetic nervous system activity. The sympathetic nervous system directs the body’s rapid involuntary response to dangerous or stressful situations. A flash flood of hormones boosts the body’s alertness and heart rate, sending extra blood to the muscles. What this means for you is that this results in fight and flight mode (survival trait that helps you survive in dangerous situations). When this fight or flight mode is triggered when you aren’t in danger, and you look around to spot danger but you don’t see any, this leads to a panic attack.

I didn’t know what anxiety was until I had my first panic attack a couple years ago. So naturally I wanted to get to the bottom of this and figure out what trigger panic attacks and anxiety attacks in people(two of the same definitions just different terms). You may go to a therapist and try to figure out why you have bad anxiety and why you may have a panic disorder. You may be going to a therapist for years and still not know why you have bad anxiety.

This Is Why You Have Anxiety And How To Solve It In One Simple Step:

You are doing too much shallow breathing. You need to take your breathing from your chest to your stomach. Belly breathing will instantly solve your anxiety. How I know this is the most effective way is because when I first was trying to lower my anxiety, I tried changing my diet, meditation, positive thinking and more. They all lowered my anxiety but didn’t fully get rid of it completely. This simple breathing method fully got rid of my anxiety. You don’t need the pills, the veggie diet, the meditations, the sensory deprivation tank, the yoga, CBD oils which these all are ideal to maintain a healthy lifestyle but for the sake of anxiety, all you need to do is deep diaphragm belly breathing and it will solve and get rid of your anxiety completely. Anytime you feel the symptoms of anxiety on the raise, all you need to do is take your breathing from your chest down to the stomach and the symptoms subside.

Belly Breathing

How To Diaphragm Belly Breathe:

Just like the image above, put one hand on your stomach, and begin to breathe in through your nose(the nose humidifies the air) while your focus is on your stomach, making sure your stomach raises on the inhale and flats out on the exhale, hence the need for your hand on the stomach to make sure you are doing it correctly. I do a one hundred of these inhales and exhales in the morning and another hundred before bed, and couple times randomly throughout the day. This will change the automatic programming to go from your chest to your stomach. The goal is to make belly breathing automatic.

A Hidden Benefit Of Belly Breathing:

Everyone wants to live in the present moment don’t we? I always hear people talk about past and future, so I can assume that they understand what the present moment is. The goal is to live in the present and not be stuck living in the future or the past right? What you may not know is that focusing on breathing periodically throughout the day will help you to become present. Becoming aware your breathing will bring you into the present moment. There is nothing more present then breath-work. Breath-work is essential to life like we talked about in the beginning of this article.

American Lung Association

Now I’m not a doctor or a respiratory therapist, so you may question my authority with the science behind breathing. I bet if you seen an article on how you’re breathing is wrong and how to breathe right on American Lung Association, I bet you would take what they say as gospel. They have an article on their website called Five Ways You Might Be Breathing Wrong and in the article they say that the proper way to breathe is in through your nose and with your belly. Your stomach is a major muscle in the respiratory system, so the most effective way to breathe is with your stomach.

There is so many articles online telling you why shallow breathing is bad for your health and how belly breathing has so many positive effects.

Benefits Of Stomach Breathing:

  1. Increases the flow of oxygen into the body and lungs.
  2. Reduces the hormone cortisol(hormone responsible for stress) So your stress will decrease
  3. Massages abdominal organs like the intestines, helping to improve digestion and to remove toxins from the body. What is the number one cause of death? YOUR DIET. So this will help eliminate toxins from your intestines.
  4. It alkalizes the body and the blood. If you ever heard of Wim Hof, he created this breathing technique which is a form of belly breathing and this method is proven that it alkalizes the body. What does this mean for you? Sickness and diseases form in an environment that is acidic(this is a low pH level in the body) Alkaline is a high pH level in the body, which is the opposite of sickness and disease. An alkaline body would help you get rid and prevent sickness disease. Cancer can’t survive in an alkaline body.
  5. Relieves tension in the neck and shoulders to help improve posture.
  6. Increases mental focus due to increase of oxygen flow to the brain.
  7. Increases your mental and physical energy.
  8. Helps get more oxygen and blood to the muscles, resulting in better performance in physical activities.
  9. Relieves muscle spasms and tension.
  10. Increases Relaxation in the body and mind

Also belly breathing deduces sympathetic activity, which too much sympathetic activity leads to fight or flight mode, which then leads to an anxiety attack. So belly breathing will lower this activity helping you to be relaxed when in face of a stressful situation.

To close out this article I want to tell you a little story about me and how belly breathing saved me under pressure. I like to use public speaking examples because public speaking is society’s number one fear. One time I had to speak in front of this room full of people and I haven’t spoken in front of people in quite some time, so I was extremely nervous. I had the intentions of just leaving the room and driving home and never showing my face again. But then this bolt of saving grace struck me and I had remembered I just learned about belly breathing and finding your center from Osho. So minutes before walking up in front of the room, I started doing deep belly breathing and right before going up to speak, my nerves and anxiety went away and I was able walk up and speak without feeling anxious. I was so excited that this method worked. Belly breathing is your saving grace when in the face of fear. This will take you out of fight or flight mode, and you will become relaxed. Also you will be able to think better because there is more oxygen flowing to your brain.

START BELLY BREATHING TODAY AND YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL THANK YOU!

Thank you for reading, I hope this was insightful and helpful for you.

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