Breathing is one of the many reflexes controlled directly by the brain without any voluntary action on our part.
The brain controls other life-sustaining functions as well, such as heartbeat and sleeping. However, recent research points to the possibility that changing your breathing pattern might actually change the functioning of your brain too.
The way we control our thoughts, suppressing some while letting others take control completely is very unique when compared to other life forms. Same is true for breathing as well; no animal can ‘focus on their breath and control it’.
Many therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, for instance, involve regulative breathing.
But the question is, can controlling inhaling and exhaling actually have an effect on the mind?
A study conducted by Dr. Jose Herrero in collaboration with Dr. Ashesh Mehta says that there is a link between the two. The research began by observing brain activity when patients were breathing normally.
Then, the patients were given a simple task to distract them. They had to click a button when circles appeared on the computer screen. This allowed them to observe when people breathe naturally and are not consciously focusing on their breath. After this, the patients were told to count their breathing.
It was observed that when the patterns on the screen changed, their brain activity changed as well. The breathing manipulation activated different parts of the brain. Thus it provided evidence vis-à-vis breathing patterns and their effect on brain activity.
If proven further it could benefit athletes and the likes to manipulate their breathing and get the best out of their brain activity.
The advice of taking a deep breath might not be cliché. It does help in controlling the brain and thus accessing some out-of-reach parts of our brain.
Deep breathing is actually good for health as it lets the oxygen go into the brain which in turn stimulates brain activity and thus promotes good health. Deep breathing is closely related to nervous activity and helps you to control your body further.
Even though the jury is still not out whether manipulating breathing patterns could completely change our brain, it definitely promises to be an interesting endeavor.
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This article (Science Says Deep Breathing Has The Power To Change Your Mind) was published by Conscious Reminder, and it is re-posted here with permission.