Learn To Hold Your Breath For More Than 2 Minutes in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Forget everything you know about holding your breath

Seriously. If you have never got longer than 1 minute, then you didn't have the proper knowledge to do so. And that's perfectly normal. I was there, too.

My general assumption for most of the people is, that they take a full breath, hold it and then give up after about a minute or so. Then they think it is impossible to do longer. And you are right, it is if you are doing it that way. Just imagine the following scenario: If you want to run a marathon, are you going out there and start running without any kind of preparation or warm up? I don't think so! The same is true for this.

There is no single breath hold technique which really gives you outstanding results

The body is able to store oxygen inside the blood cells. Oxygen is the stuff that keeps you alive and your body is longing for. So if you fill up your storage with enough oxygen before you hold your breath, it is much easier for you, to remain without additional air. It is simple as that. That's the real "secret".

Step 2: Get into a relaxed position

Remain without breathing for a longer period of time is primary depending on how relaxed you are. Every distraction, every discomfort burns precious oxygen. And remember. Your body has a limited amount of oxygen stored in your body when you are holding your breath. Wasting that by being unnecessarily tensed or distracted by the neighbours dog or something like that, doesn't help you at all.

Lay down in your bed and relax

Find a nice and comfortable place to relax. Reduce all possible distractions to a minimum. Shut down your mobile phone and make sure nothing else disturbs you. Lay down and feel your muscles. Relax every bit of them. Continue normal breathing while doing so.

Get into a calm state of mind

Focus on your normal breath and on nothing else. If other thoughts appear, gently push them away and focus on your breathing again. This is important. Every time your brain tries to find another topic to think of, you are losing not just concentrations but also burn additional oxygen.

Step 3: Start the Yogic Breathe Up

What is the Yogic Breathe Up?

When you are inhaling, focus on your stomach and fill the air into it. After 2 seconds of inhaling shift the air into your chest for about 3 seconds. You can feel the movement if you place on hand each parts of your body. Feel the air filling your lungs. After that you release the air slowly. This has to take at least the double amount of time as for the inhale. It doesn't matter if you get the figures exactly. The important thing is, to control your breath, fill your lungs and empty them in a slow manner. To control the inhale and exhale you can put your tongue onto your lower teeth. That creates a valve, which makes it easier to manage the amount of air you inhale and release.

For easier understanding:

  1. Inhale 2 seconds to stomach
  2. Shift to chest and inhale for another 3 seconds
  3. Exhale slowly for about 5 seconds
  4. Total Cycle time should be around 10 seconds

Continue that procedure for at least 3 minutes. Don't think about exact figures. This procedure is necessary to fill your oxygen levels up and make the whole exercise easier for you. Your body supports you with a whole bunch of additional features while not breathing. This is called the Mammalian Dive Reflex, which I will cover in another hub. Simply put, it modifies your body's behaviour to support the condition of holding your breath. Don't worry about it, it happens automatically.

Step 4: Take your final Breathe and Relax

After you have followed the breathing rhythm for about 3 minutes it is time to increase the amount of air you inhale. Take 2 more deep inhales, which may take you a little bit longer than the ones before.

Take the final breath

After doing that you take another really deep breath and shut your mouth. Fill your lungs completely. You should feel the pressure in your chest. Let no air getting out or in. Stay calm and relaxed.

Scanning your body for tension and release it

The next important thing is to scan your body and release any tension you might have. People usually tend to put force into their muscles because they fight against the urge to breathe. Remember the body isn't used to that new sensation and tries to avoid it at all costs. But it is just because of not knowing how it is, that your body reacts like this.

Start with your toes and work your way up to your legs. See if there's any unnecessary tension you might release. You don't need your legs to burn oxygen for no reason which you can use better right now.

Continue with your arms and stomach as well as your chest. Finally you will reach the neck and shoulders as well as your face muscles. Focus on that, because usually there's the most tension. Try to release it and calm down. Hold the breath and feel the relaxation getting into your body and mind.

Ease into the uncomfortable situation

You may have reached a point where the breath hold doesn't feel comfortable anymore. Your brain is telling you to breathe but honestly, that's far away from the real end of the road. Try to calm your mind down and relax even more. Even if your body starts doing crazy manoeuvres, like stomach contractions, stick to it. If you really can't go any further, release everything.

You may come to a point where your stomach is starting to move involuntarily. This is nothing bad. In fact your body is starting to breathe internally. What's happening is that the unused air in your lungs gets in movement again, because your diaphragm is going up and down. That way oxygen can be brought into the blood circles again. This leads to more oxygenated blood cells in your body and therefore you can stay longer without taking another breath. Yes, it is exactly as awesome as it sounds.

Step 5: Recovery Breath and back to normal

Finally if you decided you can't stand any longer, exhale and release all the CO2. Inhale deeply and exhale again. Do that a couple of times. That way you'll fill up your body with oxygen again and you'll feel comfortable again. Don't forget this last step as you may be very low on oxygen which may lead to black out or loss of motion control. To be on the safe side have another person on your side, who can watch your behaviour and progress as well as taking the time.

How was it?

If you followed until here you have probably tried it, too. I'd be really interested how it was and if the explanations have been helpful to you. Any suggestions for improvement are highly appreciated, so don't be shy.

Anyway I really appreciate that you have read so far. If I could do anything to improve my explanation here for everyone, please let me know. Holding and controlling the breath is advantageous for many standard live situations, e.g. stress management. If you are able to control your breath, you are able to control your state of mind. Think about it the next time you start getting angry again.

Major concerns and lack of clarity regarding safe breath holding

Disclaimer right up front

Some concerned readers started a lively discussion about the risk of performing the breath holding technique described in this hub. I state the major ones and hopefully can address everything to a whole extent.

My intention for writing this hub:

  • showing and telling people about the capabilities of the human body and mind
  • introducing a way one is able to reach his mental limits
  • sharing my fascination about freediving, the sport this techniques are used for.

NOT my intention for writing this hub:

  • using a highly targeted keyword like "hold your breath" to gain additional traffic
  • showing youngsters to black out
  • introducing a way to get high (which isn't really an effective way to do. I am sure youngsters these days know better ways"

Holding the breath and related techniques should only be performed under supervision with an experienced person.

Basically there are several concerns that will appear for someone who is new to the topic and wants to learn more about it:

Why would I hold my breath for such a long time? Is this even healthy or beneficial?

I understand that the mere topic of holding one's breath for an unusual time like 2 minutes seems to be crazy, careless or even irresponsible.I know that, because I thought the same about it before I learned freediving.

Holding the breath, performed according to the instructions give, isn't stupid and dangerous at all. In fact the human body is designed to perform those kinds of activities. For more information on that I kindly refer to

And yes, I believe that every youngster or whoever is self dependent enough to make his or her own decisions regarding what to do or not to do. I am not diminishing the responsibility from them nor do I force anyone to perform the techniques I have explained in this hub.

I agree that there are probably many people who put themselves into dangerous and stupid situations but seriously that's not the topic here.

I didn't put a specific application in this hub, because there are so many different ways you can apply that knowledge.

It is used in

  • Yoga
  • Vocal Coaching (as I know now)
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Meditation
  • Will Power Training
  • Freediving
  • etc.

I wanted to keep it universal. It's a built-in feature of the human body if you would like to say so. The body is able to maintain a health state even while holding the breath for a longer period of time. (For your information: The world record is beyond 10 minutes without ANY subsequent damage)

Why is holding your breath beneficial?

  • it lets you relax any time at any place immediately (referring back to the Human Dive Reflex)
  • it lets you control your state of mind by putting things back to order. If you don't believe me then focus on your breathing the next time you are anxious, stressed or in any other uncomfortable situation
  • it lets you face and extend the mental borders and shows you new capabilities of your body and mind
  • you will find a dozen other applications you can implement in your daily life

How successful have you been?

How long did you hold your breath?

  • >60 seconds
  • >120 seconds
  • > 3 Minutes
  • > 4 Minutes
  • > 5 Minutes
  • Damned I just broke the world record !!!
See results without voting

Inspiring and impressing video about the opportunities of holding the breath and freediving

Is holding my breath dangerous and can it cause brain damage?

Later on in the thread the consumption of oxygen because of the brain was put in question. As a matter of fact the brain is responsible for 20% of total body oxygen consumption. I kindly refer to and

At another passage in this thread the term Shallow Water Blackout appears. I confirm that this is a really dangerous situation but has nothing to do with the technique described in the hub.

Shallow Water Blackout, as described in the Wikipedia article, is the issue of blacking out while freediving near the surface. Because of the relative pressure changes of gases, like oxygen, are significantly higher near oxygen, the amount of oxygen may fall below a necessary level which then leads to a blackout. This only happens BECAUSE of the diving (and the according changes of pressure). In dry training as described in my hub this is not the case. Because of the Shallow Water Blackout Issue Freediving is furthermore never done alone.

I also conceived that the topic of brain damage appears several times. It is necessary to define a clear distinction about what causes brain damage and what doesn't. After 3 minutes of NO OXYGEN supply at all the brain is at risk of getting damage.

While holding your breath your body is PERMANENTLY supplied with oxygen. Only the amount of it gets less and less after time. And that's exactly what you are training for:

Getting used to less amount of oxygen in your body and use it more effectively.

By no means you are interrupting the oxygen supply and causing some kind of brain damage.

Is holding the breath potentially dangerous? Of course it is. Walking on the sidewalk and eating plums is potentially dangerous, too. Either a car can kill you or you may choke on the plums and die because of suffocation. In the latter my hub on holding your breath for 2 minutes may help you increasing your chance of survival.

Consulting a doctor before doing that exercise is definitely a great idea. Having your body checked regularly isn't just beneficial for practices like that.

Feel free to contact me directly, via this forum, by comments or whatever.

And a funny application for breath holding as well

Comments 65 comments

Firdousia Sudheer profile image

Firdousia Sudheer 3 years ago from Dammam, Saudi Arabia

congrats...voted up...

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Congratulations on the HOTD award! This is a very interesting topic. Thanks for sharing and I´ll definitely try it.

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 3 years ago Author

Hey there!

Thanks for your congratulations Firdousia Sudheer and Thelma Alberts. I am honored to have published valuable content for all of you.

I just checked the poll in my article and figured out that most of the readers could break the 2 minutes, which is awesome.

Tell me about your experiences and results Thelma Alberts.

dragonflyfla profile image

dragonflyfla 3 years ago from South Florida

Great article, but I was curious as to why you would want to do this. Is there a health benefit? I can't help but think of a spy movie where you fool your chasers into believing you are dead! :-)

Caleb Melvern profile image

Caleb Melvern 3 years ago from Philippines

This is awesome! I have never managed to hold my breath for more than 30 seconds! Maybe you should add a 'less than 30 seconds' answer to your poll question. Haha! I should try this method some time. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on HOTD!

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

Excellent instructions. I followed along for a while, but didn't try to hold my breath for very long. I figured I could do that later. And, even though I didn't go all the way with the breath holding exercise, I found the breathing exercise to be very relaxing. What a great benefit.

Oh, by the way, congratulations on receiving Hub of the Day.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii

Cool and congrats on HotD! I am intrigued but, since I'm in the middle of Scuba training, I'd better not practice holding my breath right now! I might be tempted to go ahead and hold it when removing my mask and then I'd get in trouble. =p

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Enjoyed this and it resembles a breathing exercise I use with my vocal students. Your explanation is very clear and well done!

A big congratulations on HOTD!

brainspike profile image

brainspike 3 years ago from Phoenix, USA

Practicing pranayama really helped me with everything in my life. Connecting with my breath was key for me... great hub thanks for the inspiration to practice more!

tina 3 years ago

Cool, years ago I found that practicing breath control helped with my mild asthma. Not sure if it's good for people with more serious breathing difficulties to do this, but personally, I feel much better for having learned to hold my breath for longer periods of time.

rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

I think that breathing control and understanding the proper way of doing it is very important for so many reasons. As some of our hubbers stated, it is good to master if you are training for scuba diving like Natashlh or perhaps relief from mild symptoms of asthma such as Tina. Personally, I think it's great for stress release and is a major component in the practice of yoga. Great article and tutorial! Congratulations on HOTD. (Voted Up) -Rose

jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

It's been a while since I did this Yoga type breathing and when I did it after reading your hub, I felt woozy. LOL A little more practice is needed.

CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Congratulations! Very deserving HOTD award! Great, useful info. Well presented and easy to follow. I think this is most specially helpful for those who tend to hyperventilate and needs to practice proper breathing habit, and of course for everybody.

Voting up and sharing.

Handicapped Chef profile image

Handicapped Chef 3 years ago from Radcliff Ky

I think your hub was great I have copd and anthing that can help with breathing is a plus.

Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina

Congrats on Hub of the Day! Very interesting topic and info - I've had to work on breathing techniques with vocal lessons before but been a long time.

vertualit profile image

vertualit 3 years ago from Bangladesh

Great hub. Thanks for sharing...

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 3 years ago Author

Simply WOW !!! What a response ...

Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts and comments about this hub. I really appreciate that.

It's fascinating to see how many people are already practicing to control the breath coming from so many directions. Vocal Training for example. I didn't think of it and now it seems SO obvious to me.

Thanks again for the laurels ;-)

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 3 years ago

There is a big discussion about this page in the forums right now, if you want to get involved.

I would delete this post after reading...

JamiJay profile image

JamiJay 3 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

I found this information to be incredibly useful, and I learned something new while reading :) I believe your HOTD was well deserved so congrats! There are many scenarios in which one may have to hold their breath for up to two minutes (vocal training is not one I thought of initially, but it is indeed very true for those long notes).

As far as that forum discussion was concerned, you handled it beautifully, and I applaud you for that. I think if you want to end the confusion you could always add the word safely to your title-- "Learn To Hold Your Breath Safely For More Than 2 Minutes in 5 Easy Steps".

I am glad to have found you here, and I hope to see more from you :)

Sarra Garrett 3 years ago

Excellent hub and congratulations for being the hub of the day. This hub just may save someones life as well if they find themselves in a position where they are stuck in water: flood, car accident etc.

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 3 years ago Author

Hey there!

I am always glad if someone take its benefit from that hub. As you stated Sarra who knows if this kind of information is very useful for someone at some day.

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Congrats on the HOTD. I can see where this info would be beneficial in many ways. I personally know of parents who were unable to save their drowning child who fell into a pool....maybe if they had known how to hold their breath longer they could have saved the child.

Nice to meet you, Mary

stephanieb27 profile image

stephanieb27 3 years ago from United States

Congrats on HOTD!! Great hub! I'm sure my dad used to use this technique. As a diver he could hold his breath for three minutes. :)

Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

People who are complaining about this hub, need to take a physiology class. The lungs have a reserve that is NEVER emptied, which means the body is never without oxygen unless you puncture a lung or have emphysema or some other disease that would limit the body's ability to inhale, or exhale. In fact that reserve is how the body keeps the blood cells stored with oxygen in this type of situation. The point of this exercise is essentially to increase that reserve.

I say congrats on HOTD, and if someone is stupid enough to follow your instructions incorrectly, or not have someone near by when performing this exercise then the consequences are truly their own fault.

ladydeonne profile image

ladydeonne 3 years ago from Florence, SC

I read your hub because of all the hoopla. I think it is interesting and gives good information. Liked the videos.

Mermaid katie 3 years ago

Very useful as I wish to be a prefessional mermaid like mermaid Melissa who can hold her breath under water for 5 minuets. I will need this skill for later on in life. Thnx

Mermaid Katie 3 years ago

Yay! I can now hold my breath for 1 minuet! This helps when I'm learning the mermaid swimming technique.

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 3 years ago Author

Well that's awesome. I wish you all the best for your practice in the future ...

George 3 years ago

There are some inaccuracies here.

The build up of carbon dioxide is the main stimulus for breathing, not the lack of oxygen. The hypoxic drive only kicks in under pathological conditions. Most any healthy adult can easily achieve a 2 minute breath hold if they hyperventilate prior to taking the last breath. By hyperventilating (rapid, very deep breaths) you remove most of the carbon dioxide from your blood. As a result it takes longer for your blood CO2 to return to normal and you can hold your breath longer. The danger of passing out when using breathing techniques like we mentioned is that without the CO2 building up, forcing us to breathe, you can pass out from a lack of oxygen. That's right, you can suffocate without even feeling it because you did not have a significant desire to breathe.

Secondly, the mammalian dive reflex is not initiated by holding your breath. Try it yourself, take your pulse before and after holding your breath, you will only notice a slight decrease in your rate, if at all. That's because the dive reflex is initiated by cool water on your face. Get a large bowl, fill it with cool water. Take your pulse, then take a deep breath, plunge your face into the bowl, and keep it there while you take your pulse again. Your heart rate will drop to 30-40 bpm, compared to the normal 60-100 bpm. THAT is the mammalian dive reflex. Blood is shunted from GI organs to supply mainly the heart and brain, allowing you to survive with a very low cardiac output.

Finally, you shouldn't use words like stomach to describe the abdomen in an article like this. Stomach is a very specific anatomical structure. To use breathing techniques correctly all you need to do is get very relaxed as described in this article and then exhale until it hurts, keep breathing out until you don't think you can breathe out anymore, and then breathe out some more. Then inhale until it hurts, keep breathing in until you don't think you can breathe in anymore, and then take a few more gulps of air. Do this very deep breathing rapidly 4-5 times after your period of relaxation to get as much CO2 out of your body as possible. Then take one last great deep breath and hold. It's uncomfortable to hold that much air and you'll want to exhale but try to ignore it. The discomfort will go away in the first 20-30 seconds and you'll be well on your way to breaking 2 minutes. As the CO2 builds up an overwhelming desire to breathe, do not fall for the temptation to exhale. Let your lungs keep churning that air around to get as much CO2 in it and as much O2 out of it as possible. Due to the risk of passing out, don't try this alone. Let an uncontrolled release of air signify that you have lost consciousness if you're comfortable enough to try this underwater so that your buddy can pull you out.

Tim, Amsterdam 2 years ago

just blown away by it all, haven't given it much thought what happens to someones body after its hold his/her breath.

fascinating really im gonna train this regulary---- one question though about:

''For easier understanding:

Exhale slowly for about 5 seconds

Total Cycle time should be around 10 seconds''

in the txt it says: ''After that you release the air slowly. This has to take at least the double amount of time as for the inhale''

inhale is 2+3 sec exhale should be 10sec then, i wanne do this right and double time exhale or not is gonne have diff effects(ornot :P) i just dobt know

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

Hey there! With total cycle time I meant inhale + exhale time. For the beginning it is mandatory to control your breathing rythm so that you get confident and comfortable with longer exhales.

As with all trainings make sure you get assistance by a professional who can support and improve your training results.

JK 2 years ago

Interesting to hear what the automatic reflux in the abdomen is all about.

To get as much oxygen in at the end of your last inhalation you can also use your mouth and cheeks to 'force swallow' oxygen into the lungs. This will really give you the feeling that your of lungs are about to burst and I figure it gives you at least another 20% extra time on top of a normal breath. Just recorded 2:50 for my first time in trying it in about 3 years, heart rate was about 48bpm when I tried it. Should be able to achieve longer if tried first thing in the morning when heart is sub 40bpm. Might be back to let you know.

gretchen 2 years ago

Thank you this is very helpful, since I want to become a pro mermaid (like mermaid melissa) I needto have a long breath hold, this has already helped me a lot

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

I wish you all the best in your aim to become a pro mermaid. ;-)

@JK: Looks good, dude. 2:50 is already quite a good time. If you would like to improve I would really suggest that you lie flat in your bed, try to calm your mind and then head into your new breath hold record.

Alain Moggi 2 years ago

Amazing ! Never thought I could break the 2 minutes barrier from the first try. I followed all your advice. And almost doubled my normal time. Just gave up too soon mentally as well. 1 question. Does this help with using your oxigen more efficiently when practising other sports. Could it improve your performances there as well. Thanks for your blogpost. Bye

old foggy 2 years ago

I first did this when suffering from

insomnia in bed aged 8. I was curious how long I could hold my breath and got to one minute thirty on that first try.

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

Hey Alain!

The human system tends to increase its ability to use the oxygen more effectively when it is challenged to do so. That means all kinds of sports are definitely improving your possibilities to become better in holding your breath. As described in the article, holding your breathe becomes quite quickly a matter of mental strength. This is the hard barrier you have to crack once you reached a certain point.

Thanks for your feedback and keep me informed about your progress!

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

So you started early.

What about now? Could you keep up to the former performance?

jhon 2 years ago

I helled my breath for 1 hole hour and I am just a kid!

jacope profile image

jacope 2 years ago from Great Falls, MT

Interesting article. Similar exercises are also used in qigong and tai chi. Both of those are commonly considered meditation in motion, although not all qigong uses motion.

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

good to go. Although I would consider an application for guinness world records now!

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

"Control your breathe and you control your mind" is a basic knowledge in common eastern traditions and arts. You will find very similar exercises especially in certain kinds of yoga.

bill 2 years ago

I managed 3 mins 38 secs

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

Hey Bill!

That is amazing!

Congrats from my side.

How was it for you?

Tom 2 years ago

So, I have 1 question. When you feel like you can't hold any longer, how long can you still be under water, because I like to work with countdowns.

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

Hey Tom!

To be honest: it depends! The more you reach your boundaries of holding your breath, the more you train and expand them, which leads to longer breath holding times.

It depends in which state you are actually. Could you describe the final moment, before you stop holding your breath? Do you feel some sort of distraction in your chest and stomach area?

If not, there is plenty of time left (if you do the exercise right).

Nordlys 2 years ago

I get scared, so I don't see much difference.

But this is typical of me. What works for everybody doesn't work for me.

Nordlys 2 years ago

In the end it worked (About 3'10").

I'm just a very cautious person, and I need to do things step by step, especially if is so extreme.

My problem was mainly:

1 - at the start I had my logical side of brain telling me: 'Is too long time' (after 45/60 sec) and this made me scared. I had (and sometimes I still need) to look at the watch to get used to the time (this was the first minute). Going for two wasn't as hard as the first minute, the third was almost a 'who cares?'

Second: what happens after this phase?

"You may come to a point where your stomach is starting to move involuntarily. This is nothing bad. In fact your body is starting to breathe internally. What's happening is that the unused air in your lungs gets in movement again, because your diaphragm is going up and down. That way oxygen can be brought into the blood circles again. This leads to more oxygenated blood cells in your body and therefore you can stay longer without taking another breath. Yes, it is exactly as awesome as it sounds."

After this (annoying to be honest) phase, I stopped, still because of my caution. What happens then?

Anyway I'll always stay away from water. I don't know why, but every year I'm turning more and more detached from water. Once I liked to play in pools, then I started to just like to float in a life-preserver (Yes, I can't swim). Now I just like to walk alongside water. I don't want to jump in it, I just enjoy to look at waves. I don't even bath anymore but I take just showers. Maybe because water (especially water of polls) give me a sense of sleep (and as a formerly insomniac person I don't like the sensation)

Nordlys 2 years ago

Sorry for bother you again. I realized I did the procedure a little bit wrong, because I was too nervous to do this. The fact is that, when I was little I had pratically NO BH endurance (5 sec), and few days ago I discovered my normal endurance as adult is about 1 min (I didn't realized that before, and my mindset is still setted on '5 seconds and no more' even when the timer is close to 1'00"). That is also what made me detacted from water. You can't do anything fun underwater in 5 seconds.

I tried the right procedure now. Is totally different than holding your breath normally, but I still need to get used psychologically to 1 min (I mean, my body has no problem with that, but my mind is still telling me that is not right), so I will not attempt to go not even near 2 minutes. Reaching 3 mins that time was a satisfaction but thinking about that still make me fell scared (being said, I gave up several times between 1' and 1'30" just because of fear, and not because of strange feelings in my body).

Right now I instead gave up due to salivation (my mouth was full of water, but I realize I'm trying to find excuses to avoid to go over a stupid minute that doesn't even bother my body).

Another of my fear is not realizing what is my limit and passing out (I never passed out once in my life)

Louise 2 years ago

I am purely interested in breath holding because I want to surf better and I want to be able to feel if I go under I can hold my breath long enough so I don't drown I struggle with breath holding as I panic so this article is good.

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

Until now you realize that fear is the biggest challenge you are facing in terms of holding your breath. This is exactly the state you have to manage in order to improve your results.

You are on a very good way. On tip is, not looking to the stopwatch during the exercise as it will start the whole mindf***

Would you be interested if I write an article of how to handle the emotions of fear and anxiety during breath holding?

Nordlys 2 years ago

Yeah, I would be.

I tried to calm down, but when i manage to calm, I almost fall asleep (is not a blackout because I was able to come back easily, and it was just at the start), then I try to stay aware (I hope to not fall asleep). But in the end, when I decided to stop (it wasn't my limit yet, but I was starting to getting nervous again), I realized I was feeling very well.

I really want to learn to manage this. Just for myself.

I was never able to manage my state of mind. I would be interested!

Johnd864 2 years ago

I appreciate, cause I found just what I was looking for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye bgefdbaaabbc

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

Hey Johnd864!

I am glad that I could help you out. It's a pleasure. What specifically are you interested in Freediving or similar areas?

Brad 2 years ago

After following some of the Breathe-Up techniques my best of 5 breath holds was 1:43. I was very relaxed laying in a bed. My goal is to get over the 2 minute mark while laying in bed and between 1-1:30 while spearing. Currently I can only go about 40 seconds while diving.

SeThCipher profile image

SeThCipher 2 years ago Author

Hey Brad!

Try to focus on the inhalation and exhalation phase. Maybe you start to hold your breath too early. How long are you performing breath ups?

BTW: Read my other hub called: How Experts to their Breath Ups at for more details

Nordlys 2 years ago

Uhmmm... at the moment I don't care much to reach great time of Breath Holding. I'm more interested to increase my normal BH time now. By losing 5 kilos (I'm overweight) and starting to do sport, I already gained 30 seconds. I will follow your articles anyway, I like your infos.

I really can't understand how my breaking point fell. I except pain in my chest, but instead I get painless contraction (few) until, at about 1'30" they become strong/fast, so I stop.

I also more at my ease with breath holding now.

Stian 23 months ago

Went from 1:40 to 2:56min... great technique .

Christy 21 months ago

awesome read! i tested myself beforehand and made it to 1 minute and 10 seconds. after reading and relaxing, i got to 1 minute and 42 seconds.. and here i thought I'd die if i went a second past 1 minute and 10 seconds!

Christy 21 months ago

Scratch that.. did it AGAIN and went from 1 minute and 42 seconds to 2 minutes and 2 seconds.. it really is a mind game

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SeThCipher 20 months ago Author

That is so awesome Christy. Go for it. What stats do you have now? I guess you made massive progress in the meantime ...

Edrisse 19 months ago

Uooooww! 2.30 on the first try! I had never went past 1 minute before. This is exciting! Thank you so much for the info! And you do feel relaxed.

CHill_TACtics[36] 18 months ago

The thing wrong with storing lot of oxygen before u hold yr breath is u get lightheaded, now u may not feal that yr light headed but yr brian is over ran with more oxygen than normal it starts to get rid of it as fast as it can and that uses up way more than u have stored. but there is a way to make this work store up oxygen hold breath for 5 seconds then take a huge breath of air let half of it out take another then try to hold yr breath for more then 1 minute but that good for 1 minute. If u r really wanting to hold yr breath for a long time then like for about 4 minutes like i am able to do u want to learn how to condense yr air in yr longs and lower yr heart rate/unneeded movement. What's unneeded movement well its were u move yr body for no reason because every time u move yr arm or leg or head it uses a lot of oxygen so try to keep yr movement at a needed minimum. plus the air is only filed with less then %10 oxygen so when u take a breath its not all oxygen especially when yr around level of the earth were there is as much oxygen as others. hope this helps

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SeThCipher 18 months ago Author

Yeah Edrisse. Go for it!!!

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SeThCipher 18 months ago Author

Hey Chill!

Unfortunately it is really hard for me to follow your explanations. Would you please provide them in a more clearly stated way? I am not exactly sure what you are pointing out.

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