How To Breathe Properly

How To Breathe Properly

You might think there’s only one way to breathe — the way you do naturally — but you’d be wrong. Certain methods take more work than others, and you can improve your health by doing it better.

Photo by Plume Photography (Shutterstock)

Lifehacking blog Selfication explains a number of ways to breathe correctly, but the most important one is to breathe from your diaphragm. It’s what singers learn to do and babies do naturally. Those deep breaths give both singers and little children the ability to project their voices powerfully, for better or worse. In your case, you can use it to get more oxygen and more energy. Selfication explains:

The air you breath in through your nose should go all the way down to your belly. Your breathing muscles consist of the diaphragm and muscles in the abdomen, chest, neck and shoulders.

70-80% of the inhaling should be done by the diaphragm so that your breathing is nice and deep. This has a couple of advantages:

  • It helps your lungs with the gas exchange which is much more effective way down in the lungs.
  • The diaphragm massages your liver, stomach and intestines and gives these organs a rhythmical balance.
  • The lymphatic system, which is important for our immune system, gets the help it needs to get rid of the waste products from the bowels.
  • The pressure in the chest and belly is decreased so that the heart won’t have to work as hard.
  • More effective muscle work as the wrong breathing muscles won’t have to do unnecessary work.
  • As the chest gets more relaxed so does the neck and shoulders and a s a result the likelihood of pain in these areas go down.

Selfication offers several more breathing tips that will help you open up your air passages and gain more energy from the work you do breathing. Furthermore, good breathing can help keep you more calm and relaxed — it’s a key point of meditation, after all. Be sure to read the full post for lots more useful information.

How to Breathe Properly — A (Surprisingly Important) Complete Guide [Selfication]


  • I knew this would have meditation thrown in there >< not saying it’s shit, well i am.. but it’s not for me.

    • So, just because the word ‘meditation’ appears in the article you are not going to take the rest of it seriously? Now, that’s what I call cutting off your nose to spite your face!

    • Exactly! And if you aren’t breathing properly, you won’t have to worry about it for much longer!

  • The article raises some interesting points, but that doesn’t stop the icon and heading from looking like something from The Onion. 😛

  • It is surprising though how many people chest breathe and hardly belly breathe at all. I teach singing and over half my students don’t breathe very well and have to learn how to do it.
    It does make quite a difference.
    Meditation has never worked for me though, I just get bored.

    • Another person who misunderstands meditation? You get bored? What do you expect – to be entertained? From your remarks I’d have thought you would have no problem clearing your mind of thoughts.

  • And wtf, exactly, is a “rhythmically balanced” liver, pray tell? Mine’s probably been kicked somewhere into the far side of dubstep territory by now, should I be aiming for psytrance? Bluegrass? Classic rock? What if my stomach prefers taiko or reggae? How do I get my organs to agree on a mutually beneficial rhythm?

    Oh god, what if my intestines refuse to compromise on their Aphex Twin obsession! Am I going to die? Argh, I’m hyperventilating now, is that a good thing? I can’t tell! Help?

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