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How to breathe and what it says about us. We breathe funny.

Updated on October 9, 2013

Most people know that plants give off oxygen. But did you know ....

That they consume oxygen at  night?
That they consume oxygen at night? | Source

Shallow breathing leads to shallow minds. True!

This article is written to help people just like you. No rules, no pills just healthy suggestions on breathing. Breath is a live source. How you breathe can effect your life. Live in your breath and you will breathe easier.

Isn't that a great term? "I will breathe easier once I have got this done". It tells us a whole lot about life and breath.

I would be remiss not to let you know that this fellow helped inspire this article and you should read his hub:

As a basis here is a Wiki answer on how we breathe:

This is dependent upon many factors with the biggest being age. The very young having higher rates.

A normal rate for infants would be 40 - 60 breathes per minute.

Young children (2-6 years of age) have a typical rate of 20 - 30 breathes per minute.

A healthy adult at rest would have a breath rate between 12 and 20 breathes a minutes. With the average being closer to 12 breathes per minute, but as people age this rate tends to go up slightly.
Please note this concept as it tells us a lot:
During stress or exercise this rate can approach 70 or more breathes per minute. (clearly an exaggeration)

However the above fairly accurate facts should scare you. How much of your lungs are you using if you only breathe in for 1.5 seconds? I would suggest the answer is about 1/15th. So what are the rest of your lungs doing? Just sitting there going into atrophy and collecting garbage.

Your lungs hold around 4 liters of oxygen. Shallow breathing about a liter at best.

This old fella probably drew a breath every ten seconds or so.

Deep breathing is not owned by a  religious or spiritual group.
Deep breathing is not owned by a religious or spiritual group. | Source

Toxins and your brain

We absorb toxins all day long. From the air we breathe to the food we eat to actually manufacturing some ourselves. Even things we touch are absorbed through skin. What is in that shampoo you use and what soap residue is in your clothes? One bite of processes food has the junk in it.

Do not freak, our body has a built in toxic waste disposal system. Some in sweat and some in do do and some in pee pee. And a great deal of toxic disposal is in your breath.

Shallow breathing produces shallow effects on your disposal system. So with shallow breathing we do not expel all the toxins we take in. And they sit in that 85% of your lungs you are not using.

Lungs provide oxygen to the brain. That oxygen is compromised by toxins if your breath is shallow. So when we breathe shallow we deliver toxins to our brain. Believe me, we have no full idea how much this damages our capacity to think --- but the good news is we do know that the more pure the air and more oxygenated the blood, the better our brain functions. So here is the is the absolute truth, breathe deeper and think better.

Here is another funny concept. If you are in moderate to low polluted air, you will have a tendency to breathe shallow. Unless there are things like large particles in the air or high concentrations of toxins you are better off breathing deeply and slowly. It just gives your body more of a chance at getting good oxygen and expels more toxins.

Now you knew danged well I was going to play this song!!!

Other effects and affects

This writer followed a great Yogi for several years and learned much. He was a transformed little Jewish guy who moved out west from Brooklyn. Well he taught me the art of breathing. One day two US Navy Seals showed up at a deep meditation yoga practice. Wow they were just like the movies. They were about 6'2" and had all these bulging bumps all over their bodies, (I came to find out those were muscles ;-) The long and the short of it was they came not just for the benefits of yoga and concentration but to learn and practice breathing deeper and longer with positive effects. One fella told me that the Yogi had brought him from holding his breath for four minutes to 6 minutes. And that the breathing techniques we used constantly on missions. I guess deep breathing is not just for us Love and Peace doctors but for combat.

And you know what? We here are in combat every day. And that brings us to Stress.

How deep do you breathe

How many breathes do you take a minute

See results

Stress is brutal if not managed and focused

I recently wrote an article on stress being good and worry being the problem. There was a poll there that revealed that about 90% of the readers got the fact that stress was good for us. But clearly these folks a bright and focus their stress where it belongs.

Now deep breathing can enhance this ability, not to cope with stress but to direct it and channel it into the positive. It also oxygenates our muscles and brain so that the result of stress can actually increase our mental and muscle memories into positive reactions to stress.

Here is an amazing fact. People doing heavy exercise do not necessarily breathe deeper. Generally they just breathe faster. To an exact count extremely successful athletes do concentrate on their breathing and actually do breathe slower and deeper during muscle stress and use. Absolutely that is fact. Believe me star quarterbacks and NBA guards are not hyperventilating.

Train yourself to breathe deeper when in stress and you will change everything right up to your attitude and success rate.

Focus on a task and concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly for a few minutes. Just keep bringing your focus and concentration back to the task and the breath. Little thoughts will creep in and stop your focus. Just be cool with it and return and breath deeply.

If you are prone to breathing shallow when facing obstacles. Change!

Calm cool slow breathes will help you reach any peak.
Calm cool slow breathes will help you reach any peak. | Source

As is this author's want here are some closing thoughts

Sit still my friend and let your breath go in and out like slow moving waves.

Let yourself relax and smile and your breathing shall do likewise.

Even the bull preparing to charge slows his breathing and focuses

I never heard a person say, "take a shallow breath and pray"

Let us remember the phrase "I will breathe a lot easier when......"

Let someone else somewhere, somehow help you learn to breathe deeper. And just practice it from time to time and also listen to your breath. Just listening to your breath will help you to breathe more deeply, relax more completely and live more sweetly. Now just go do it and reap the rewards. Just do it for one minute right now. I am watching!


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you MsDora, perhaps the deeper we breathe the deeper we live. And the more shallow -- likewise.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank for you emphasizing the difference between breathing deeply and breathing faster. Small detail which can be overlooked, but important. Healthy Breathing today!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting awareness tribute. Perhaps when we learn the idea ourselves we can then see it in others. Cool.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      Oh, Ericdierker! You've got that right! After showing a house I stop and ask the buyers what they think about the house. I pay more attention to their body language and breathing than the words they speak. Once, I had a buyer who was so excited about a house that before she answered she took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then spoke her sentiments through the exhale. She bought the house!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I hope you kept that Doctor!! That is a great experience. In fact monitoring breathing is part of a lie detector test. We actually breathe less deeply when lying. Or is it that we breathe more deeply when telling the truth?

      In your biz I bet you can use it to tell the sincere from the others.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      I once had a doctor stand in front of me for what seemed like forever. He was watching me breathe. At first, when he told me there was nothing wrong with me except that I was breathing all wrong, I labeled him to be a quack and wanted to get a second opinion. But, he taught me how to breathe deeply and by the time I left his office I was feeling better. Deep breathing is the way to go. I totally needed to read this hub as a reminder to breathe deeply.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much for coming on over and sharing with me. Smiles back at you Francesca

    • Francesca27 profile image


      5 years ago from Hub Page

      This hub took my breath away! In a good way. Thanks for reminding me to breathe out loud!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Good is good and your hubs are good.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 

      5 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Wonderful article, as always. Thank you so much for the endorsement.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Maybe that thumb is something I should look into.

      Thank you much for reading and sharing. Just having you visit is a real pleasure.

    • fivesenses profile image


      5 years ago from new delhi

      Relax and learn to listen to your breath and you can relax and achieve alot more.

      voted and shared.

      (btw I also clicked thumbsup but strangely the thumbsdown was highlighted???)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am quite certain that paying attention to it is a most critical part. If someone were to ask I would have said "the deep thinker Bill is a deep breather" ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I couldn't vote in the poll because I fell in-between....fifteen....I have been working on this for almost a year now....jogging and yoga have helped greatly. Stress is a is a savior. :)


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