One of the most important yet underrated physiological functions is BREATHING. While all of us are breathing every moment of our lives, it is surprising that we are not doing it right. Most of us are hardly conscious of this basic yet vital bodily function on which our life actually depends! Doing it wrong means that you are losing efficiency in every aspect of life.
Observe a child sleeping and you will see how deeply it breathes with its abdomen rising and falling. It’s exactly the opposite in case of adults. Most of us breathe only from our chest and our breathing is short and sharp and the condition worsens with stress.
Ideally, we are supposed to breathe 20,000 times a day. It assists our nervous, cardiovascular, immune and digestive systems among others. Interestingly, 70% of the toxins are flushed out of our breath.
Breathing is important for two reasons.
- It is the only means to supply oxygen which is vital for our survival
- It is one of the means of getting rid of waste products and toxins from the body.
Importance of oxygen :
Oxygen is the most vital nutrient for our bodies. It is essential for the integrity of the brain, nerves, glands and internal organs. We can do without food for weeks and without water for days, but without oxygen, we will die within a few minutes.
If the brain does not gets proper supply of this essential nutrient, it will result in the degradation of all vital organs in the body.The brain requires more oxygen than any other organ. If it doesn’t get enough, the result is mental sluggishness, negative thoughts and depression and, eventually, vision and hearing decline.
Signs you are not breathing fine
– Are you yawning often? Yes , it is a sign of being tired but it can also occur when there is shortness of breath.
– Tooth grinding in sleep often happens alongside improper breathing because they are both signs of stress.
– Feeling tired perpetually may indicate that our brain is not getting the required amount of oxygen and it will obviously impact energy levels.
– 80 per cent of us are chest breathers and it leads to stiffness in neck, shoulders. This is body’s way to allow lungs to get more air.
– Don’t be only a chest breather or an abdomen breather. You should be utilising both while breathing. Your stomach should expand while inhaling and contract while exhaling. A lot of people miss out on this very important breathing rule.
– Breathe through the nose. It is vital for people to practice different types of breathing through the nose. This is where yoga comes in. One must try alternate nostril breathing, which also helps release stress.
– Breathing through your mouth is a common breathing mistake. It can cause tiredness as well as dry mouth. Not only this, it can alter your heart rate and blood pressure too. For the uninitiated, nitric oxide which is important for the body to absorb oxygen is produced in the nose. This is all the more important while exercising.
So do you think you’re breathing right? notice your breathing. Take a few deep breaths and let go everything. Experience how relaxed you feel when you breath deeply.
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