How to Take a Deep Breath

Although breathing is a reflex action that is necessary to continue living, on many occasions we do not do it correctly. We should not be alarmed because we are breathing badly or not quite right, because if we are still alive, we will be doing something right, right?

At birth, our breathing is much more natural than when we reach adulthood, this is due to different aspects that cause our way of breathing to be altered for the worse without realizing it. Around 50% of adults perform chest breathing when they are at rest, despite the fact that it can cause a large number of problems both in the short and long term.

In general, the way we breathe depends a lot on the moment, because it is conditioned by our state of mind. Examples:

  • When we are relaxed or sleeping, our breathing is calm and quiet.
  • On the other hand, when we are upset, our breathing speeds up, making incomplete breaths, reaching in some cases to hyperventilate.

The lungs are the main organ in charge of breathing, although it is not the only one, the system of muscles and organs in charge of our breathing are quite extensive. Since breathing consists of two phases: Inhalation and exhalation, there will be some muscles that are more involved in one than in the other. Muscles such as the diaphragm are responsible for inhalation, increasing the volume so that as much air as possible can fit in. At the time of exhalation, the muscles responsible for inhalation will relax to let other muscles act, such as those of the abdomen. To expel all the air. For this reason, we should not focus our breathing solely on the lungs since we would be carrying out an incomplete breath and also, by not working the rest of the muscles, they will not be in good condition, which can cause problems.

On the other hand, for our breathing to be calmer, it is necessary that the rhythm of our breathing is not very fast, this is what happens when we breathe only with the lungs. This happens because, by having an oxygen route inside our body, the amount we inhale is very limited and insufficient.

Deep Breathing Instructions

When we talk about diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing, we are referring to breathing that involves not only the diaphragm, but also the abdominal muscles. If we compare it with thoracic breathing, which focuses only on the chest, we will see that the second does not provide enough oxygen, so it upsets us, increasing our heart rate and causing us some anxiety, quite the opposite occurs when we breathe deeply and calm. Next, I will explain a way to carry out diaphragmatic breathing (take a deep breath):

How to perform the deep breath:

  1. Inhale deeply and slowly: We must inhale little by little through the nose. First of all, we will take the air to the stomach so that, little by little, it rises through the sides to our lungs, completely filling the chest cavity with airAdults are used to chest breathing, this is because we have gotten used to it almost without realizing it and we see it as something “natural”, so it may be difficult at first. We must concentrate so that breathing is carried out only through the nose, since in this way the air that reaches our lungs is purer and cleaner. To be more aware of our breathing, we will place the hands on the stomach. Thus, when we inhale, we will notice how our stomach fills with air and the belly comes out. This type of breathing will also help us relax as it requires greater concentration to ensure that we do it properly.
  2. Try to open the chest cavity as much as possible: As you breathe in, make sure that both the diaphragm and the lungs increase in size. When the air begins to enter your body, it must first go to the stomach, when it is completely full, we will slowly fill the lungs, until there is no more air. At birth, our breathing is much more natural, stress in adulthood causes us to end up breathing from the chest, which causes us tension that the only thing that triggers is more stress.
  3. Release all the airExhale the air through the mouth. As you begin to exhale, you should notice how, little by little, the rib cage is reducing its volume. Once all the air has been released, we must rest for a few seconds and then be able to continue with this breath a few more times. Having the hands resting on the stomach will help us release all the air, since we can help ourselves by pressing them slightly backwards and thus ensuring that the expiration has been complete.
  4. We will keep this breath as long as necessary: ​​We can play with the times depending on our state, but always keeping in mind that it is a breath that requires great concentration, so we must focus solely on it.

What do you need to take a deep breath?

When it comes to calming downdiaphragmatic breathing becomes one of our best allies for this; we must follow the following steps:

  1. Breathe in for 5 seconds through your nose. Counting will help us to make the breaths take place regularly.
  2. We will maintain that air for 5 seconds.
  3. We will release the air through the mouth for another 5 seconds calmly and without rushing.
  4. The most recommended thing is to repeat this exercise about 3-4 times and between the repetitions also rest for about 5 seconds.

Tips for taking a deep breath

To finish, here are a couple of tips to make our breaths better:

  • Sit in a chair where we can maintain a comfortable posture without straining our backs. If we see that our back is tense, we will opt for a chair with a back to be able to support ourselves. If we see that our posture is still tense, we can perform the breaths by lying on the ground.
  • It is convenient to close our eyes to be able to focus only on our breathing.
  • You can perform this type of breathing at any time, it is ideal to start the day with more energy, to relax before bed or in a stressful situation…
  • Place both hands on your stomach to make sure that the oxygen completely fills your chest cavity and to make sure that your lungs expel all the air on the exhalation.
  • We must bear in mind that the stomach, when filled with air, will expand forward, simulating the belly that appears when we eat a lot.
  • Once we have learned to perform this type of breathing, we can do it at any time and dilate it in time as much as we want or need.
  • The moment you feel upset or stressed, you will realize that your breathing begins to shake so you can focus on breathing more deeply and thus be able to calm down those nerves that do not generate anything good.
  • When it comes to playing sports, it is very important that, although when it is a very demanding sport we cannot take a very deep breath, we focus on making our breathing calm within our possibilities.
  • Remember to always count so that the breathing rhythm is stable -> 5 – 5 – 5

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