Is the way that you're breathing making you more stressed and tired?

There are many factors which can contribute to experiencing low energy or chronic tiredness.

Some of them are obvious such as not getting enough sleep, a poor diet or stress but then there are also less obvious aspects that you might not naturally have considered.

One such factor is your breathing- how you breathe has an impact on your physical and mental wellbeing and mouth breathing in particular can contribute to fatigue and stress.

We breathe all day and night and because it is so automatic we often don't pay it much attention unless we are struggling to breathe for some reason eg. illness or exertion, asthma etc.

Your breath is one of the foundational pillars of your health and wellbeing.

How you feel often affects how you breathe eg. when stressed you might shallow breathe, over breathe or hold your breath.

And, how you breathe also affects how you feel. When we consciously change our breathing, we can also change our we're feeling.

Many of us have habitual patterns of breathing which seem so normal to us that we don't even really notice that we're doing them unless we consciously start to pay attention.

Breathing is meant to happen through your nose (unless your nose is completely blocked such as when you have a cold). Oxygen absorption and utilisation is more effective when we breathe through our nose and nasal breathing also stimulates nitric oxide production which helps to dilate blood vessels, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure when needed and also has an immune supporting element.

Whilst in therapeutic breathwork sessions we may use some breath patterns which involve breathing through the mouth for s specific purpose, outside of these times, breathing through the nose is preferable for health and wellbeing.

Mouth breathing can stimulate the stress response, leading to more stress hormone production and feelings of anxiety or overwhelm.

If we were in the wild and needing to escape a threat we would likely initially breath fast and through the mouth, this same primitive stress response still occurs even if the 'threat' is an overwhelming 'to-do' list, or a stressful email or phone call.

Breathing through your nose during the day can also reduce tendencies to mouth breathing and snoring at night, both of which negatively affect your sleep quality and energy levels.

It can take a while to change our automatic breathing habits, but the first place to start is by paying attention, noticing whether you tend to be a mouth breather or nose breather and consciously switching to nose breathing whenever you catch yourself out reverting to mouth breathing.

If blocked sinuses or nasal passages make it hard to breathe through your nose, there are breathing exercises which can help as well as identifying why your nose is blocked and addressing the cause eg, allergies, food intolerance, infection etc. Essential oils such as eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint or spearmint can also be helpful, you could use them in a vaporiser, inhale directly from the bottle or put a drop on a tissue and inhale.

If you'd like to improve your breathing habits so that you breathe optimally supports your mood, focus, energy and overall health plus learn breathing strategies to reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm, improve energy or support sleep, you can book a 1:1 session here: https://blossomwellbeing.as.me/?appointmentType=30517318


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