Breathing is the only involuntary function of our body that can be managed and modified voluntarily. The modern, anxious and frenetic lifestyle, bad daily habits and poor air quality, subtly lead the body to adapt over time to a “wrong” attitude, which becomes automatic and apparently spontaneous. Re-acquiring correct breathing will improve your lifestyle and will be essential for preventing and treating many of the aforementioned diseases.
If you are asking us how to stop shallow breathing, the primary recommendation we give is to start practicing deep breathing technique ASAP. The diaphragmatic breathing is silent and relaxed, but very effective to treat shallow breathing. However, we will give you some useful tips to start exercising your diaphragmatic breathing. If you practice them consistently, they can provide a boost to the quality of your life, and will be a natural doping for your performance.
Focus on your breathing whenever possible
It starts with situations of extreme calm and relaxation, such as when you are sitting on the sofa watching a movie or lying in bed reading a book. You must have the sensation that your breathing is slow and imperceptible (silent). As a next step, analyze your breathing in more hectic situations, which cause you stress, such as when you are in a car and you are driving in traffic. You will notice that your breathing will become more labored and noisy. Concentrate on making it slow and relaxed again.
Experience the difference
Start doing it in relaxing situations, such as lying on the bed as soon as you wake up in the morning. Place one hand on the pit of the stomach and one on the chest. Start breathing through the nose: slowly and deeply while closing your mouth. You will feel your diaphragm swell and deflate with each breath, and consequently your hand placed on the pit of the stomach rise and getting down.
You are experiencing diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing in reverse with your mouth open, you will feel the rib cage expand and contract with each breath, and consequently your hand placed on the chest rise and fall. You are experiencing chest breathing.
Make it a daily habit
Focus your attention on your breathing as many times as possible during the day. If your mouth is open and you are using it to breathe, force yourself to close it and use your nose only, slowing down the pace and intensity of each breath. During some sessions of your low/very low intensity aerobic sports activity, try to breathe exclusively through your nose, without making any noise, keeping your mouth completely sealed.
At first it will be difficult, and soon you will have that feeling of hunger for air that will force you to open your mouth to inhale in an exasperated way. Slow down as much as you can the pace of your training session, trying to never go out of breath. Try to separate the breathing technique from the athletic gesture (breathing slowly and deeply) in the most relaxed way possible.
Gradually adapt the body and do not stress it
Start exercising for a few minutes, without making this practice excessively stressful. Also, increase the duration of the exercise progressively, whenever you feel comfortable and understand that your body is adapting to the technique without difficulty. Soon you will get to carry out all the training over time using exclusively the nose to breathe, without making noise.
Work constantly on your breathing exercises, daily and during some sessions of your sporting activity. Sooner or later, you will significantly be able to fully enjoy the benefits, both in terms of well-being and in your sports performance.