1. Practice breathing through your nose.
How often should you do this breathing exercise? Anytime you think of it and any time you catch yourself breathing through your mouth. Take a moment to concentrate on nasal breathing and do this exercise.
At first it seems you will never be able to breathe through your nose without thinking about it. But keep working at it. It may take several days to several weeks before you start nasal breathing without having to consciously do it but its well worth the effort. If you find it difficult to breathe through the nose because it is always blocked up or stuffy. See our section on clearing a stuffy nose.
2. Tape your mouth at night.
I know this sounds extreme but it will have two major benefits. It will help you to train your body to breathe through your nose all the time without having to think about it. And as you spend a third of your time sleeping, by taping your mouth you are spending a third of your day practicing breathing correctly.
You won’t have to do this forever, after 30 days you should start to nasal breathe at night without the tape. If you breathe through your nose and not your mouth the chance of snoring is greatly reduced because your breath is regulated by the size of your nasal passages. It is much more difficult to take big gulps of air through your nose.
3. Practice breathing using your diaphragm.
Some people call this deep breathing because it feels as though your breath is been drawn deep into your belly. The diaphragm is the large muscle attached to the rib cage at the bottom the chest. It is the primary breathing muscle and the most energy efficient when it comes to breathing.
To start this part of the breathing exercise, sit in a chair in an upright position and put your left hand on your chest and your right hand on your stomach. Take a larger breathe in. If you are breathing using your diaphragm you should feel your right hand move out and your left hand shouldn’t move at all. If your left hand is moving you are breathing with your chest. This is more tiring and less energy efficient.
Your diaphragm is shaped like an upside down U. When you breathe using your diaphragm, it contracts and flattens, drawing air into your lungs. To breathe out all you have to do is relax. To start with sit upright with one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Practice breathing with the hand on your stomach moving only and the hand on your chest staying still.
Practice breathing in, then relaxing and letting the air expel itself. At first you maybe inclined to blow the air out. There is no need. Also as the air expels from your lungs, the air speed gradually slows down to nothing as the air pressure in your lungs equalizes with the air pressure outside. You may even have a pause at the end of breathing out before taking your next breathe in; this is natural.
You should practice breathing using your diaphragm any time your think of it. You can practice anywhere, anytime without anyone knowing.
4. Breathe deeply
Finish this breathing exercise with 3 deep breathes. Make your breath as deep as you can without raising your chest. On breathing out on the last breath count in a low voice to the highest number you can. Monitor how high the number is. It is an indication of your lung capacity.
Like all muscles you must use it or lose it. By exercising your diaphragm to its full extension, you make it easier and more efficient at working in its normal range
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