Catch Your Breath

It is a new paradigm. We must learn to breathe differently by becoming more efficient at moving oxygen around our lungs and expelling used oxygen.

The importance of understanding breathing and how to control it

I began to study the movement of the chest, ribs, heart, lungs, and diaphragm. It helped me to understand how to control my shortness of breath issues better.

When you have COPD, these issues of poor breathing and shortness of breath are all too familiar. It happens regularly upon exertion or changing environmental pressures such as low barometer, rain, and humidity. Nights are worse than days, and big meals are out of the question.

An article published in 2017 by Moran Cerf says that breathing is traditionally thought of as an automatic process driven by our brain stem. However, it is also found that humans can alter their brains by intentionally changing their breathing patterns.

It is why practices of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma therapy, and mindful meditation are so successful. They lend hope that we can better control and regulate our breath by carefully pacing and paying attention to our breath.

Monitoring your breathing behaviors

Awareness of when you are holding your breath, shallow breathing, or breathing too fast or slow is paramount. Spend a few days actively charting your breathing behaviors.

Make a note of when breathing becomes a problem, and you will soon find a pattern emerging. You may be surprised at what you see from doing this.

Maintaining even breathing becomes the key focus of our universe. Little else matters during our days and nights, and we are constantly focusing on our breath.

It matters in our world now and is the substance of our life. Focusing on our breath helps us know when to control it and how to regulate it.

You must do the work now; nobody can do it for you. The result will help you to take control of your breath.

Overcoming roadblocks and learning to take control of your breath

Too many of us put up roadblocks saying, “I can’t do that.” Rather it is a time to open your mind and learn how to do it. You can do it; many have before you.

It is essential and central to your well-being. Spending time to figure out our new limitations and barriers can only be beneficial now. Look for guided meditations, relax, and go inward.

Be centered on yourself and pay attention to yourself. Your life now is about you and only you.

Taking control means you still have independence and motivation. Deep abdominal breathing and positioning for recovery usually help me.

I used to try to ignore it and move faster, but that never ended well. Ask your doctor for a referral to attend respiratory rehab, and look around for videos on breathing techniques.

Practice breathing often and mind your breath in every way, every day. Don't forget to use the tools that have been provided for you.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 7th, 2024, Barbara Moore passed away. Barbara’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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