Modern medical records show that at least 80% of people breathe incorrectly. Poor breathing habits lead to headaches, sleeping problems, neck pain, overworked neck and chest muscles, strained cognitive functioning and more. This can be a factor in chronic absenteeism. Learning to breath properly is one of the simplest and most profound ways to improve one's health and mental clarity, as well as to neutralize stress.
I learned of the benefits of deep breathing when I lived in a tiny unspoilt village in Sri Lanka for a total of a year, and almost every day I would go snorkeling beyond the big waves. I would go down about 5 meters and grab hold of rocks to be able to stay underwater longer, so that I could see the beautiful big fish. I would stay as long as I could, then come up for 6 deep breaths, then go back down. I could stay underwater for 2 1/2 minutes, and do this for an hour or more. When I would come out of the water I would notice that my mind was so quiet yet focused, I would feel deeply at peace and connected to all the nature around me. Later I noticed that I hardly ever got sick and that the bronchittis I was plagued with as a child and adult had mostly disappeared. I even was able to hold my breath for 4 minutes, something I never could have imagined. When I finally started doing yoga 7 years later, I realized I had been doing advanced yogic breathing (pranayama) when snorkeling in the ocean.