Pursed-lip breathing is a common technique used to control hyperventilation and shortness of breath. When practicing this breathing technique, you allow yourself to slow your breathing pattern, making each breath deeper. With pursed-lip breathing, you bring more oxygen to your lungs which helps you relax.
A 2021 study found that pursed-lip breathing may alleviate shortness of breath, help you gain control over your breathing and increase your sense of relaxation. More research is needed to conclude the long-term benefits of this breathing exercise.
How to practice
The first thing to do is sit down in a comfortable, upright position and relax your shoulders. Become aware of any tight muscles around the face and release the tongue from the roof of your mouth.
1. With your eyes closed, inhale through your nose for two seconds.
2. Pout your lips as if you are going to blow a whistle.
3. Breathe out through your mouth for four to six counts.
4. Repeat for five to 10 cycles.