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How your breath affects your brain and emotions

How your breath affects your brain and emotions

Let’s explore a recent scientific finding that might change how you view something you do all the time—breathe. You take about 20,000 breaths a day, and it turns out, how you breathe matters more than you think. Breathing is directly connected to your brain and how you feel emotionally.

 

Researchers have found compelling evidence that shows the way you breathe affects your emotional state and memory. More specifically, the rhythm of your breath, whether you’re inhaling or exhaling, has an impact on the brain’s limbic system. This is the area of your brain that controls your emotions and memory.

Here’s the most significant point: the benefits are most pronounced when you breathe in through your nose. Doing so boosts your ability to make emotional judgments and helps you remember things better. On the other hand, these advantages pretty much vanish if you breathe out or if you’re breathing through your mouth.

Why is this important? Well, the study reveals that breathing in stimulates neurons in key areas of the brain like the olfactory cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus, which are crucial for our emotions and memory. It seems like this might be nature’s way of helping you react more quickly and effectively in stressful or dangerous situations.

These discoveries offer more than just insight into why you may sometimes feel especially alert or emotionally in sync. They also help us understand natural responses to fear and might even shed light on how meditation works, since focused breathing is a common element in many meditation practices.

So, the next time you find yourself stressed out or in need of a mental lift, remember: the way you breathe can be a powerful tool. Just make sure to inhale through your nose for the best effects.

Source: Northwestern University, Journal of Neuroscience. “Nasal Respiration Entrains Human Limbic Oscillations and Modulates Cognitive Function” by Christina Zelano et al. Published online December 7, 2016

If emotional issues are troubling you or holding you back in some way, let’s have a chat. There is every possibility that I can help you quickly let them go, possibly in only a session or two.

#feelingstuck #selfdoubt #worry #stress #anxiety #selfconfidence #overwhelm #procrastination #burnout

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