How Well Do You Breathe?


There are many essentials of life and breathing might be the most crucial and valuable. The life we have is to a large extent dependent on this simple activity called breathing. Suffice to say that from when we were born until the day we cease to live, we engage in breathing. There really isn`t any time we do not breathe. At such points when we do not breathe, it is possible that we no longer live except in cases where we intentionally hold our breath such as is done when swimming or in a situation where you avoid inhaling smoke or some other dangerous substances. Yet, over the years, I have come to realize that the simple task of life: breathing, many do not know how to do properly. Yes, many of us do not know how to breathe. It sounds absurd, right? I mean, is there really a right way to breathe? And even if there is a wrong way, would it not still include the simple act of taking air in and exhaling the air as we were taught growing up? That, however true, does not mean we all breathe the right way. Many do not know when they do not breathe well. It is something that is quite uneasy to ascertain. As stated earlier, many are oblivious to this fact simply because the act of breathing has simply been categorized as inhaling and exhaling air without any focus on other processes involved in such an activity. These extra processes make the distinction between wrong breathing and right breathing.

You Want to Know More?

Here is another shocker. Not breathing well is most likely messing up your body functions. Surprised? Yes! When you do not breathe well, you run the risks of unusual sleep patterns; waking up at odd hours, inability to sleep on time and even sleep well and other sleep malfunctions, incessant mood swings, disoriented brain activity, indigestion, cardiac issues, effects on the nervous systems and even the muscular systems as well. It is coming back to you, isn’t it? You probably take them as random occurrences, but they really are problems that stem from breathing inappropriately. In an online article by Kareen Lee Richards on the Importance of Breathing Properly, some other benefits of breathing properly and disadvantages of breathing improperly were highlighted.

Breathing Properly

  • Fuels energy production
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Eliminates toxins
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Improves bowel function
  • Reduces stress, tension, and anxiety
  • Can lower blood pressure

Breathing Improperly

  • Mental Fog
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Digestive problems. [1]

The reason for these occurrences when one does not breathe well is simply as a result of the fact that bodily functions are much dependent on oxygen coming in through the body, and not just flowing, but flowing in the right places. In this article, you will get informed on some of the indicators of wrong and right breathing. I am sure you want to read this and know what you are doing wrong. So, prepare to do some breathing exercises and check yourself while reading.

How to Identify Right Breathing

breathing right


  • You may choose to stand erect or lie down or any position that would be comfortable for you and would avail you the space to place your hand on your belly or abdomen.
  • Then, after you have put yourself in a suitable position, you may then go ahead to place your hand on your belly or abdomen region.
  • Now that everything is in place, simply breathe as you normally do. First, take in the air. After this is when you can begin to identify if you breathe well or not.
  • At this point, two things may happen. It is either your belly or abdominal area rises while your chest region rises or the chest region protrudes and the belly or abdominal area is unmoved and remains flat.
  • So, if the belly area rises, you are good to go, you are breathing properly. However, if it doesn`t, you are not breathing well and it is advised you practice the breathing exercise till breathing is concentrated in your belly area.
  • Right after that, begin to exhale slowly while your hand is still placed on your belly. You will suddenly notice that the stomach will gradually reduce in size as well.

Think of it as a balloon about to be filled with water or air. As the water or air enters and fills it up, the bottom part of the material begins to expand. As soon as the air or water begins to leave or leak out, it begins to diminish in size. Think of that bottom part of your belly area.  This is not one thing people notice or pay attention to as there are many other daily activities that “take priority” and this seems like something so minute, but the reality is that it is the cause of some of those problems you attribute to the weather or that troublesome boss who makes you do excessive work. It seems like something we should not really care about, but it is quite important. We are all bound to forget this, but we need to adopt what is called, “conscious breathing”. We should make sure we practice consciously at certain intervals when we are unoccupied and when we notice that we are defaulting on the proper way to breathe; it would not hurt to try to practice your way back to the right way. Some of our problems with slower brain function could be as a result of not breathing properly. It is generally believed that the adult brain requires 20 percent of the body’s oxygen to function properly. So, if your body slows down from limited food, it is only sensible that your brain would slow down in function as well when there is a shortage of the oxygen it requires and this is inadvertently affected by the way you breathe.

Some General Tips on Breathing Well

breathe well
  • As funny and obvious as it may seem, it is important to breathe through your nose. Some other people bypass the norm of using the nose to breathe and use their mouths. Although it is a possibility to breathe through that channel, it`s however inappropriate. The makeup of the nose is such that air that goes in through the channel is filtered to prevent dirt, bacteria and all sorts. In fact, it is the reason we have nose hairs. Those hairs serve as filters for germs and more. It also helps regulate the humidity of the air that is inhaled.
  • Make sure you are breathing with the diaphragm. Always ensure that when you are inhaling and exhaling air, the action is in your belly; expanding and deflating constantly.
  • Always practice conscious breathing. Make sure you are constantly aware of how you are breathing. You do not have to bend to check. One can be conscious in the mind. You are in control of your body, so, you should know.

Do all these and get closer to achieving a clean bill of health.


[1] Richards, K. L. (2018). The importance of breathing. Health Central. Retrieved from

[2] Seattle White Tiger Kung Fu. “Breathing & It’s Importance In Kung Fu.” October 5, 2014. Retrieved from