Breathing is one of the most basic things that we do that we pay the least attention to and also end up doing it very wrong. Breathing properly is not just about staying alive. Better breath helps us to sleep better, fight anxiety and exercise better.

Here are a few tips on how to adjust your breathing to better handle different situations.

1. When you’re stressed

When things are not going so well for you, you unconsciously take shallow and quick breaths. The best way to stop anxiety is to slow down your breathing. Take about five breaths per minute. Breathe gently and naturally without forcing air out or overfilling your lungs.

2. When you’re in pain

When you’re experiencing some pain whether that’s from a headache or you’ve stubbed your toe or you’re suffering from a painful condition, breath control can bring some relief. A slow deep breathing technique is useful to handle pain.

3. Remain in the present

Practicing mindfulness has many benefits such as helping you better control your emotions, reduce anxiety and depression and develop better relationships. Mindfulness simply entails being aware that you are in the present and you slow down and take notice of the moment you’re in. This can be as mundane as washing dishes or feeling the sun on your skin as you walk to work or feeling the warm water run through your hands as you wash your hands. Becoming aware of your breathing helps slow you down and create a sense of calm and mindfulness.

4. When running

When you’re on a run, the best way to breath is through your nose and mouth. You should be able to take air in and exhale without straining too much. Finding that balance is important to deliver sufficient oxygen to your muscles to work and perform properly. A good runner’s trick is to be able to run and hold a conversation at the same time without losing your breath.

5. When lifting weights

Lifting weights require that you maximize your strength and breathe for the best muscle power. When you’re going to lift the weight, exhale as you flex your elbow and curl up and inhale as you lower the weights down.

6. For concentration

When you need to concentrate deeply and intensely on a piece of work or project take a few short forceful breaths. You breathe in sharply and out forcefully while shouting “ha”. Do this for no more than 3 to 5 minutes and aim for 20 breaths per minute. Please note that persons suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this type of breathing.

7. When pregnant

Keeping baby’s blood pressure low is important during pregnancy and labor. The best way to do this is to get on your hands and knees and exhale as you round your back up like a cat and inhale as you arch your back as a cow. Long inhales and exhales are most

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