Breath for relaxation, breath for concentration
The role of the breath in our lives is indisputable - thanks to it we are able to function. Breathing is instinctive, but if we are aware of how this process takes place, we can stimulate, concentrate or relax through appropriate exercises. It all has to do with our physiology and knowing how to influence our mood can be useful.
BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE!
To begin, it is helpful to understand how our airways are constructed. The upper respiratory tract consists of the nose, the nasal passages, the throat and the larynx, while the lower respiratory tract consists of the two bronchi, the bronchial branches and the lungs. In addition, it is worth knowing what functions our nose has: first of all, its task is to warm the air, and also to clean and filter it thanks to the hairs inside. In addition, breathing through the nose moistens the nasal mucous membranes, which is good news for people who struggle with a blocked nose. Breathing through the mouth is not enough to moisten the mucous membranes, losing about 40% of the water and risking a notoriously blocked nose.
PULMONARY MINUTE VOLUME
In the 1930s, the minute lung volume (the amount of air that passes through the lungs in a minute) averaged 5 liters per minute. Today the average is 7l/min. It turns out that we breathe much worse than our ancestors, and the reasons may be several, including air pollution, but also stress, which leads to hyperventilation. leading to hyperventilation. People who breathe "too much" are characterized by mouth breathing, loud and irregular breathing, feeling of lack of air, frequent yawning and sighing or loud breathing during rest. It is a good idea to start working on your breathing by breathing through your nose, which will allow you to use this organ to perform its function.
CAUSES OF DYSFUNCTIONAL BREATHING
All right, but what do you mean we breathe badly? Why didn't our ancestors have this problem? As always, there could be several reasons. Apart from air pollution, the reasons for a disturbed breathing pattern are processed food and overeating, excessive talking, stress, the belief that it is good to take big breaths, high temperatures in homes, asthma, or finally genetic predisposition.
BREATHING FOR RELAX
If the exhalation is twice as long as the inhalation, it causes the body to have a calming response. In people who are stressed on a daily basis, the breathing is accelerated, leading to hyperventilation and increased carbon dioxide levels in the body, which in turn increases the urge to take another breath. Below you will find a breathing exercise with a calming effect.
1.Sit comfortably and balance your breathing.
2.Inhale and exhale through the nose and after the exhalation phase hold the air for 3-5 seconds.
3.Breathe out quietly for 10 seconds.
4.Repeat step 2 and 3 for 10 minutes.
Tip: after the exhalation phase, plug your nose with your fingers.
BREATHING FOR CONCENTRATION
Breathing exercises for concentration are worth doing in the morning, after waking up, but also before exercise or when we want to stimulate ourselves to work. In addition, in the case of a blocked nose, we are able to unblock the holes in the nose by moistening the mucous membrane.
1.Sit comfortably and steady your breathing.
2.Inhale and exhale through your nose, then hold your breath for as long as you can (block your nose with your fingers).
Rest for 30-60 seconds while breathing through your nose only and repeat 5-6 times.
We recommend you a video by Małgorzata Mostowska from her Youtube channel, which you can find here.