Breath Scoring or Good vs. Bad Breathing
Ever wondered whether you’re breathing “well” or “not so well”? Sounds a little bit crazy, but you might want to give this thought a try.
We all know that breathing is what our body does to get oxygen into the system. And similar to eating or walking or any other body function, our body can either do this “just alright” or at an optimal level. With breathing, this is especially tricky as we do not immediately feel when we’re breathing suboptimally (or do what we call “bad breathing”). What we feel are increased levels of anxiety, a lot of stress, getting sick all the time, being tired a lot, and having problems with tight necks or shoulders.
While these symptoms can also be caused by other issues, a typical suspect is normally the so-called vertical breathing. It results that we are breathing at a lower capacity than we could, leading to improper oxygenation and reduced blood flow, which in turn causes these symptoms.
Vertical breathing - which you are probably doing right now like the majority of people - means that your shoulders and chest rise and fall while breathing. During this type of breathing, the diaphragm, the most efficient breathing muscle that we have, stays stagnant, less oxygen enters the lungs and the blood and ultimately leads to an oxygen shortage in our whole system.
You probably don’t even feel that your ribs are moving at all when you breathe like this. But they should!
This is what is called horizontal breathing. It engages the diaphragm, leading your ribs to expand away from your midline while inhaling and to retract when exhaling. As the diaphragm is responsible for enlarging the chest cavity during inhaling, more air can enter the lungs, more oxygen reaches the bloodstream and off we go with all the positive effects that come with having a proper oxygen saturation with this type of breathing. Increased focus, heightened levels of energy, and overall well-being are the positive results. Easy to understand that this is what we label good breathing.
So the next time you feel like getting a headache or losing focus at work or simply looking for a way to improve your well-being, observe your shoulders and your ribs while breathing. You might want to change from bad to good breathing.
For getting more information on how to use breathing to improve your life, visit our other blogs. For personalized guided breathing exercises, try out the Chojuu app.
Live better - breath by breath.