We are not meant nor designed to be under constant stress. Take, for example, mouth breathing. When you breathe thru your mouth as your primary mode of respiration you are stressing your system.
Let’s say you’re worried about something at work and haven’t been sleeping well. This emotional event creates a physiologic stimulus that is interpreted as you being under threat. So your body kicks into protect mode and part of protect mode is get as much air IN as possible. Who knows when your next breath is going to come, better get the air now.
How you breathe matters and while you can certainly survive with mouth-breathing, you will struggle to thrive. Tell someone who is primarily a mouth-breather but has learned how to finally get air in thru his nose, balance his pH, and sleep thru the nite that we need more randomized controlled trials to understand that breathing is important.
Start to break the pattern:
Here's an initial technique I use with clients to help them better balance their breathing.
1. Sit with your back supported.
2. Place your tongue to the whole roof of the mouth as if ready to cluck your tongue. Your tongue is the most effective orthodontic appliance you will ever have.
3. Exhale thru your nose and pause (post-exhalatory pause). Hold it here, gently, until you feel slight air hunger. Then slowly breath in thru your nose but not a deep breath. A slow, controlled one that, again, keeps you a little hungry for air.
3. Repeat this for 3-5 minutes then practice holding the post-exhalatory pause for as long as you’re able without freaking out.
4. Repeat Steps 1-3
5. Do this every day and make note of increased ease of breathing your nose.
Practicing this daily will help build tolerance to CO2, reduce nasal congestion, and reduce the compulsion to breathe thru your mouth.
For more on the basics of breathing and how to use breathing strategies to improve your life or those of your clients, check out my popular 'Just Breathe' webinar here.