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Feeling Short Of Breath Often? You Should Try These 5 Effective Home Remedies

Feeling Short Of Breath Often? You Should Try These 5 Effective Home Remedies

If you tell your doctor about how easily you might be getting winded – he will probably link your being short of breath to a heart or lung issue, and he’d be right. Being short of breath[1] can be linked to something as simple and commonplace as lung congestion or being overweight, and something as serious as heart disease and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

It’s a big world of medical procedures and scientific names – and to get to the bottom of your shortness of breath, you’d have to consult a doctor.

However, you can try a few tested and trusted home remedies for this to nudge your sinus cavities open and perhaps even clear the congestion in your respiratory system. Here are a few home remedies and breathing techniques you can try to alleviate the worst of the symptoms.

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise

Diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing is a technique in which you try and hold the chest steady – letting air in and then expelling it from the abdomen – so as to strengthen the diaphragm for better breathing.[2]

To perform this breathing exercise:

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hic-diaphragmatic-breathing-1

    via Cleveland Clinic

    1. Lie on your back on a flat surface like a bed with your head supported, and knees bent. Place one hand flat on your chest and the other below your ribs on your abdomen – this will help you feel you diaphragm’s movements.

    hic-diaphragmatic-breathing-2

      via Cleveland Clinic

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      2. Breathe in slowly through your nose – making a conscious effort to keep your chest still and letting your abdomen move.

      hic-diaphragmatic-breathing-3

        via Cleveland Clinic

        3. Breathe out normally (or use the pursed lip technique as described below) letting your chest move as little as possible.

        2. Pursed Lips Technique

        The pursed lips technique[3] is another breathing exercise that helps alleviate shortness of breath by improving ventilation and releasing any air bubbles trapped in the lungs. To do this exercise, sit comfortable erect in a chair and relax your neck and shoulder muscles. Breathe in slowly through the nose for two counts, keeping the mouth closed – inhale, one, two. Now purse your lips as if for whistling, and breathe out slowly through the mouth while counting to four – exhale, one, two, three, four.

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        screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-10-22-56-am

          via healthline

          3. Steam Inhalation

          Steam inhalation works best if you are short of breath because of cold, nasal congestion or even chronic lung congestion. Inhaling steam[4] helps thin down the mucus and helps you eliminate it by coughing it up, or blowing your nose. There are plenty steamers available at your local pharmacy that get the job done – they are safe to use since the hot water remains covered.

          If you don’t have a steamer then simply heat water to a boil and put it in a deep bowl, add in some peppermint or eucalyptus oil. Lean in towards the bowl, being careful not to burn your skin from the water or the steam and put a towel on your head to stop the steam for dissipating. Breathe in deeply for a couple of minutes. Repeat once or twice a day.

          4. Have Some Black Coffee

          Coffee is both a mental stimulant as well as a muscle stimulant. Which is why after a cup of strong, black coffee – you feel both refreshed and energized. Caffeine helps reduce any respiratory muscle fatigue and clears the airway marginally too.[5] However, too much of coffee will increase your heart rate and have the opposite effect – stick to one espresso or coffee to alleviate any shortness of breath.

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          5. Go The Ayurveda Way With Fennel

          According to Ayurveda, fennel is an expectorant, as in it helps you to cough up that mucus from your respiratory system faster, thereby clearing your airways and lungs and letting you breathe to your fullest extent. Fennel[6] also has iron and so consuming fennel will help anybody with anemia get to a healthier iron blood level – and help them avoid being short of breath.

          You can dry roast fennel seeds in a pan and then chew it down a spoonful when cool – it leaves a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. Else, add in a spoonful to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink up, once a day – sweetening it with honey if needed.

          Remember to consult a doctor before you try anything in case you are already on medication – and avoid anything you are already allergic to; for an allergy can actually worsen your condition and make you even more short of breath than you were to begin with.

          Reference

          [1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/shortness-of-breath/basics/causes/sym-20050890
          [2] http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Understanding_COPD/hic_Pulmonary_Rehabilitation_Is_it_for_You/hic_Diaphragmatic_Breathing
          [3] http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Understanding_COPD/hic_Pulmonary_Rehabilitation_Is_it_for_You/hic_Pursed_Lip_Breathing
          [4] http://www.naturalnews.com/037687_steam_inhalation_respiratory_system_circulation.html
          [5] http://www.healthcentral.com/asthma/c/question/91620/29837/
          [6] http://www.botanical-online.com/naturaltreatmentcough.htm

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          Rima Pundir

          Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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          Last Updated on November 19, 2019

          20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

          20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

          Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

          If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

          1. Create a Daily Plan

          Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

          2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

          Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

          3. Use a Calendar

          Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

          I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

          Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

          4. Use an Organizer

          An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

          These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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          5. Know Your Deadlines

          When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

          But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

          6. Learn to Say “No”

          Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

          Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

          7. Target to Be Early

          When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

          For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

          Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

          8. Time Box Your Activities

          This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

          You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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          9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

          Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

          10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

          Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

          You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

          11. Focus

          Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

          Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

          Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

          12. Block out Distractions

          What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

          I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

          When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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          Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

          13. Track Your Time Spent

          When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

          You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

          14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

          You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

          Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

          15. Prioritize

          Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

          Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

          16. Delegate

          If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

          When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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          17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

          For related work, batch them together.

          For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

          1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
          2. coaching
          3. workshop development
          4. business development
          5. administrative

          I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

          18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

          What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

          One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

          While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

          19. Cut off When You Need To

          The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

          Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

          20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

          Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

          More Time Management Techniques

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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