How to Breathe Effectively?

How to breathe effectively

Did you know that most of us are using only 15-20% of our total lung capacity?

That means we aren’t using 80-85% of our lung capacity.

Isn’t that shocking?

It’s not your fault. Most of us were just never taught proper breathing.

Not anymore.

By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to breathe effectively.

Review of anatomy of the muscles of the respiratory system:

  • Intercostal muscles (the muscles between your ribs)
  • The diaphragm (flat shaped, flexible muscle that separates our lungs from the peritoneum)
  • The peritoneum (sack) holding our abdominal organs
  • Our accessory respiratory muscles are ones in our neck like the sternocleidomastoid and scalenes.
  • Even more accessory are our traps, chest, and some of our upper back.

Here’s the important question.

What muscle should we be using the most?

The diaphragm.

Click here to tweet this.

Most of the time when we feel fatigue, we default to short, shallow breaths and use our shoulders, neck, and accessory muscles to help.

That’s just not enough.

But when you breathe using your diaphragm it’s significantly better.

Do you know who’s doing the proper breathing everyday?
Babies 👶

That’s right, Babies.

Don’t believe me?

Watch them breathe.

You can see their whole belly and sides of their body puff out for every breath.

The reason why we aren’t breathing like that is because we tend to lose respiratory coordination and flexibility from stress, sitting, and tight muscles etc…

Here’s how to do it properly using Diaphragm:

1. Start by sitting up straight in a chair

Put your hands on your belly so you can feel it move. Start to focus on your breathing.  Where is it coming from?  Upper rib cage? Lower rib cage?  Your Belly?

2. Relax and inhale

Inhale gently through your nose and feel your diaphragm move down and your belly expand out.

Feel the sides of your ribs expand and maybe even the ribs in your back expand.

The diaphragm actually pushes down on your organs making room for your your lungs which is why the belly pushes out.

“Think of every muscle relaxing and melting like an ice cube on a sunny day”

3.Exhale and feel your diaphragm come back up.  Feel your core push your navel to your spine.

When you get comfortable with this, you can try it breathing through your mouth.

If you feel your shoulders creeping up or a lot of tension in your neck, try to focus again on the diaphragm. Practice Mindfulness.

If you’ve never done this, it could take some time. So be patient.

inhale exhale using diaphragm
Artist: Sreekanth aka KMS

Key Takeaway:

Diaphragm is the muscle we should be using the most when we breathe. And here’s how to do it.

1. Start by sitting up straight in a chair and focus on where your breathing coming from.
2. Relax and inhale through your nose all the way down to the pelvis.
3. Slowly exhale and feel your diaphragm coming back up. Feel your core push your navel to your spine.

How’d you feel if you can use your total lung capacity?

Let me know in the comments below.

And share with everyone you know because we all deserves to breathe properly.


Posted by

Am a Personal Growth Addict, Medical student and a Blogger :)

5 thoughts on “How to Breathe Effectively?

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