“Just for today…
I will close my mouth when breathing”
Say this thought to yourself little and often throughout the day. Write it, draw it, meditate on it. Set yourself a reminder on your phone. Link this thought to washing your hands – with your mouth shut.
Practicing this thought throughout the day will help your lungs and wider self in many ways.
Nose breathing – the benefits:
- The nose is designed for the exchange of air.
- There is no need to push and pull air in or out – there is a no need to “do breathing”. Stop and let the air move all by itself.
- Your nose has filters in it – the mucous membrane and hairs which catch germs and airborne particles. Its best to let these ‘extras’ get caught here in the nose, rather than going straight into your mouth, throat or lungs.
- Your nose regulates the temperature of the air coming into your body. If its cold air, its warmed up before getting into your lungs, which makes it easier for you to receive the nourishment. If its warm air, it gets cooled before getting into your lungs, which also makes it easier for you to receive the nourishing exchange of gases.
- Your nose reduces and regulates the amount of air coming in at one time. This is useful. You don’t fill your car in one glug! Air comes in and your body regulates how much is enough, and then you automatically stop filling up. Trust your body’s innate wisdom to know how much air you need and when.
- Humidity – your nose helps you best to regulate the humidity of air so it comes into your body moistened or dried out a bit as required by the environment.
- When we breathe through our mouth – it always stimulates a bit of Fight-Flight. I don’t need that stimulated any more than it already is. Turn the tide and close your mouth. You can literally help keep yourself calmer by letting the air in and out through your nose.
- The air that you breathe out also passes through the mucous membrane so it is cleansed before you send it out and exchange gases with the air and people around you.
I know that this can be very tricky for people who are usually mouth-breathers. It may not feel like there is enough air coming in at once, if you are used to gulping it in. This can change with practice. I encourage you to have a go, just on this breath.
Obviously there are a few exceptions:
If you are playing a musical instrument, like the trumpet as I used to, you will need to breathe out through your mouth. You can still aim to let the air come back in through your nostrils sometimes. There will be times when the music doesn’t allow this slower-healthier route, but where possible, its good at calming your nerves too.
When singing and speaking, again the air will come out of your mouth. Where possible, start a new habit and let air back in through your nostrils.
What happens when you drink and eat?
Can you breathe through your nostrils when you drink? Have a go and find out…