The 10 Healthy Breathing Habits

  1. Breathe through the nose all the time, including while eating, speaking and exercising.  Don't do anything faster than you can do it breathing with your nose.
  2. Maintain an upright posture.  Keep the airway vertical and open.
  3. Breathe into the diaphragm, not the chest.  Think of the breathing action as originating from the diaphragm muscle under the ribs, not the nose.
  4. Breathe with a regular, predictable pattern of steady, similar-sized breaths. Minimize disruptions such as sighing, yawning, coughing, throat clearing or breath holding followed by a big breath.
  5. Breathe like a baby breathes: silently, gently and invisibly. Strong gusts are abrasive to airways.
  6. Breathe 8-12 breaths per minute. Unless it's an emergency, slower light breathing is better than fast breathing.
  7. Match breathing to activity. When resting, breathe gently using all the principles listed above. During exercise, breathe heavier as needed, then cool down the breathing like you would cool down your muscles to transition back to the rest state.
  8. Allow breathing to happen without expending energy. Exhale completely but not forcibly, Practice inhaling and exhaling without controlling it. 
  9. Practice relaxation of muscles and thoughts. Tension requires more air. Stop negative thoughts. Think thoughts that engender positive feelings. Embrace instead of defend.
  10. Increase comfortable breath-hold time intentionally after you have mastered all the other habits.