3 Ways Poor Breathing Habits Affect Your Physical and Mental Health
Most of us won’t consider that how we breathe could have an impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. We don’t think twice about how we actually breathe in our daily lives. It’s a normal and an automatic process that’s part of keeping us alive, which is not something we may have ever considered as something to worry about. However, this awareness usually changes during high-stress or intense situations, such as panic attacks and during exercise, when our breathing becomes rapid. It can become difficult, in these scenarios, to even remember how to breathe normally. Here are a few ways that poor breathing habits, and a lack of awareness of how we breathe, can affect our physical and mental health.
Changes to the Face and Body
You may breathe through your mouth when your nose becomes congested, such as when you have an allergy or when you are unwell. However, for some people, mouth breathing is how they naturally breathe. When you breathe through your mouth, your tongue sits in a lower position and causes abnormal tongue activity. In childhood, this can affect how you swallow, how your teeth form, how you speak, and even cause mouth diseases.
Mouth breathing can develop Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders that can disrupt speech, chewing, and even facial skeletal growth. In adulthood, mouth breathers are more likely to feel pain in their jaw and mouth, as a result of where their tongue rests on the bottom of their mouth, as opposed to the top of their mouth when breathing through the nose.
The most common poor breathing habit is snoring, which is medically known as sleep apnea. This is often caused by sufferers breathing through their mouth in the daytime as opposed to through their nose. Even if you do not snore in your sleep, you could be sleeping with your mouth open and completely oblivious to this. This can disrupt your sleep cycle and make you less productive the next day, or you may overcompensate for this fatigue by exerting excess energy, which has led many children and adults to be misdiagnosed with ADHD as opposed to sleep fatigue. A way to combat sleeping with your mouth open when you are completely unaware and unable to correct this behavior is by using SomniFix Strips, which are great for non-snorers too.
Nasal breathing actually means that we filter the air we breathe, maintains lung volume, and importantly, produces Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide has been revealed as the key to maintaining homeostasis, immune defense, and regulating the blood flow. When it is produced through nasal breathing, it is carried in the air that travels to the lungs, and aids in the lung’s capacity to absorb oxygen. Therefore, mouth breathing prevents or impedes these processes, having an impact on the amount of air that an individual can inhale and exhale. To counteract this, as a mouth breather, you will naturally carry your head forward to try to make up for the restriction to their airways. Not only does this cause problems for the posture, but this can cause ache, fatigue, tension headaches and, in some cases, provoke early onset arthritis.
By adopting healthy breathing habits now, you can improve your ability to return to normal breathing in hyper stressful situations, during and reduce the impact that poor breathing habits can have on your mental and physical health. More importantly, nasal breathing will prevent and lessen your chances of developing Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders that not only can cause pain but cause you to feel ashamed too.