It is an involuntary action, but you can still get better at breathing. When you breathe at a balanced tempo, you maintain healthy levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood.
Breathe through your nose: Tiny hairs and mucus, otherwise known as snot, inside your nose help catch and filter out dust that could irritate your lungs. Your nasal passages also warm and moisten the air you breathe in before it gets to your lungs.
Deep breathing exercises: The simple practice of focused breathing can help you lower stress. Just a few minutes of deep, steady inhaling and exhaling trains your vagus nerve, which manages functions like your heart rate.
Switch sides: Use your thumb to close one nostril while you breathe through the other, then switch. Close the other nostril with your index finger and breathe again. In between each cycle, briefly squeeze both sides shut. Do this for 5 minutes. This exercise, along with deep breathing, may have healthy effects on blood pressure and heart rate.
Improve indoor air quality: An air purifier in your home can help clean particles from your surroundings to help you breathe better. These small appliances, also called HEPA air filters, are especially helpful if you have asthma. Airborne dust and allergens can worsen your symptoms. But anyone who lives in a big city with pollution may benefit from an air purifier too.
Drink water: Stay hydrated to breathe better too. Drinking plenty of water or other fluids throughout the day keeps the mucus membranes that line the insides of your lungs healthy. If the lining is moist and thin, you will breathe easier.
Breathe easier through your mask: Wearing a face covering may make breathing feel like it takes more effort. While you are masked, do not slump. Good posture makes breathing easier. Take off your mask when you are alone. If you feel anxious in your mask, pause and take a few deep mouth breaths to calm down.