Mindful Mondays: Pursed Lip Breathing


F! feeling bad, let’s practice Pursed Lip breathing!

Pursed Lip Breathing is a technique used to address shortness of breath and can even help people suffering from COPD or asthma.

Settle into your pose and take some cleansing breaths…melt into the post…I know you can’t hear me.

How

You are going to focus on your breath for pursed lip breathing, so find a quiet place to sit or lie down with few distractions.

  1. Find a comfortable seated pose or lying position.
  2. Close your eyes or find a place to stare across the room that’s not a person…because that’s creepy.
  3. As always, I’m a fan of taking a few cleansing breaths where you breathe in deeply and exhale loudly.
  4. Set a timer for the length of time you plan to practice. If you are just beginning, three to five minutes should be enough at first, but the research suggests practicing five to ten minutes each time.
  5. Begin the breathing technique:
    1. Inhale through your nose for 2 seconds (focus on filling your belly with air)
    2. Purse your lips like you’re blowing out candles and breathe out slowly for four seconds (twice as long as you inhale).
    3. Repeat, and increase the length of your inhalation and exhalation as is comfortable for you.

 

Why

Pursed lip breathing is a treatment for COPD and asthma, but it benefits everyone. Focused attention on your inhalation and exhalation via pursed lip breathing not only brings awareness to your breath (which is always helpful), but it also exercises the lung muscles to reintroduce flexibility. Over time the muscles of the lungs become rigid, which makes getting enough air into the lungs and then pushing the air out of the lungs more difficult. When we experience shortness of breath, this is why. Pursed lip breathing creates pressure that forces your airways to stay open longer, which allows more air to travel in and more gas to release out. The practice can slow the progression of COPD and reduce symptoms of asthma. For those of you without serious lung issues, your benefits are:

  • Reversing shortness of breath;
  • Relaxation;
  • Reduced stress;
  • Easier engagement in physical activities; and,
  • Improved quality of life.

 

If you are interested in increasing your ability to regulate your emotions, move through the world more purposefully, and manage overwhelming anger and anxiety, consider registering for updates on upcoming programs and sign up for your free consultation.

 

For more information about Pursed Lip Breathing, follow the links below:

Pursed Lip Breathing – Cleveland Clinic

Pursed Lip Breathing -Healthline

Pursed-Lip Breathing – NIH

 

Disclaimer: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for mental health or medical treatment. It is important for those with clinical and medical diagnoses to receive the appropriate treatment from trusted and trained practitioners.