The human body has a certain capacity for breathing. If, for example, we were to hold our breath for ten seconds without any interruption, our lungs would endure a great loss of oxygen and our consciousness would drop to the very base of the nervous system. That’s a pretty frightening thought, don’t you think? So it goes without saying that the capacity for breathing is indeed a vital ingredient in determining our level of alertness and consciousness.
There are a few simple things we can learn that will help us increase our breathing capacity. We can get into the habit of using our minds to relax our bodies. It is easy to do this – it’s a learned behavior. People who suffer from panic attacks report that they found their attacks much less distressing when they used relaxation techniques to calm themselves down. The most popular such technique is meditation. A similar technique is yoga, which is also known as the calming yoga.
Another method for learning how to increase breathing capacity is through exercise. Certain breathing exercises have been shown to help people breathe more slowly and deeply. Some of these exercises include the diaphragm, chest press, the butterfly, and the mountain pose. Exercising releases endorphins – the natural morphine of the body – into our bloodstream.
Try to increase the intensity of your workout. Many runners and weightlifters practice sprinting long distances on a daily basis. It takes lots of energy and lots of endurance to keep up this pace over a long distance. It is not surprising then that athletes often find themselves sprinting against their limits and their bodies’ limits. In fact, even marathoners may find that they can no longer carry out consistent runs because of the fatigue and the lack of oxygen within their bodies.
This is the same principle with breathing. The more you try and exert yourself, the more your lungs are forced to work harder. The easiest way to increase your breathing capacity when exercising is to learn how to count out loud while running or doing other exercises. This will increase the amount of air flow in your system. Counting out loud is easy to learn, it is a regular part of how to increase breathing capacity.
For those of us who are more interested in how to increase breathing capacity while sleeping, there are various breathing exercises we can undertake to help increase deep breathing and improve sleep quality. You can get a CD that teaches you how to do these exercises, usually in combination with some relaxation techniques. There are several that can be found on the Internet, and most of them can be done without any special equipment. All you need are a pair of headphones and a comfortable pillow or a pillow case.
One way to encourage deep breathing is to make sure your chest is fully erect. Next, inhale until your lungs are full and hold it for about two seconds before exhaling. You can then focus on tightening the various muscles of your chest, including the pecs. As the muscles of your chest tighten, you should feel them get smaller. Do this several times before you go to bed.
Finally, to help warm-up your muscles and relax your body, try taking a fifteen-minute walk. This will help warm up your muscles and help you to focus on the movement of your breath. If you don’t feel comfortable going out into the cold, you can try taking a short hot bath before you go to bed. The hot water will relax your muscles and help you relax your mind as well, which will allow you to do deeper breathing exercises in the future.