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Pursed-Lip Breathing

Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through pursed lips makes breathing easier. Pursed-lip breathing can also help you regain control if you’re having trouble catching your breath. You can practice breathing this way anytime, anywhere. If you’re watching TV, practice during the commercials. Try to practice several times a day. Over time, pursed-lip breathing will feel natural.

Side view of man's head with arrow showing him breathing in through nose to two counts.

Step 1. Relax your neck and shoulder muscles. Inhale slowly through your nose for at least 2 counts.

Side view of man's head with arrow showing him breathing out of pursed lips to four counts.

Step 2. Pucker your lips as if to blow out a candle. Exhale slowly and gently through your pursed lips for at least twice as long as you inhaled.

Try This

Need help getting the hang of pursed-lip breathing? Try blowing bubbles! Get a bottle of kids’ bubbles that comes with a wand. Then follow the steps on this sheet. What do your bubbles look like? If you have lots of little ones, you’re breathing too fast. No bubble? You’re not breathing hard enough. Aim for one slow, big bubble that hangs on the wand.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 1/15/2007
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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