Breathing: You’re doing it wrong
Much has been taught in the realm of relaxation around taking deep breaths. But how much do we think about ending a breath well?
The exhale is the most important part, says Belisa Vranich, author of “Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health.” Her book focuses on how teaching your body to breathe better can improve health.
Many people don’t breathe correctly, said Vranich.
“Start with the exhale when you’re thinking about your breathing,” she said.
Often, when people are stressed, they don’t breathe mindfully. In fact, they can stop breathing altogether. “It’s a reaction to fear and stress,” Vranich said. “We have this obsession with the inhale. You can’t inhale well unless you’ve exhaled well.”
Here’s how to become a pro. Exhale the entire way out. Activate the entire middle self of your body; you should feel the area around your ribs narrowing.
“You should feel like your entire middle is being wrung out,” she said.
Most people haven’t exhaled deeply enough recently to get rid of stale air.
“Their next inhale is really bad, because you end up always trying to gasp for air and trying to fill up,” she said. “You’ve never actually dumped all of the air out.”