How Breathing calms your brain!
So, what does the science say about BREATING? Conclusive scientific research show that that your breathing patterns influence both your emotional and physical health. For example, research published in the "Science Magazine" (1), show that the brain’s “breathing centre” has a direct and powerful influence on higher-order brain functions controlling your emotions, and vice versa. The research concluded that neurons in the brain’s “breathing rhythm generator” play a key role in alertness, attention and stress.
In other words, breathing can hugely influence how “you feel”. Your breathing can control your emotions, -and your emotions can control your breathing.
The latter is kind of obvious and you may have felt it: if you are scared, your breathing and pulse increases. Controlling your breath and calming down can regulate your level of fear and anxiety, -we kind of “know” that. The scientific findings conclude that there is a two-way road between your breathing centre and your emotions. So, the right breathing can directly control your emotions. Fascinating, right? So, what about the physical benefits of breathing, you may ask? Similar research suggest that slowing your breathing increases the so-called “baroreflex sensitivity,” which regulates your blood pressure and your heart rate. In short, controlling your breathing to lower blood pressure and heart rate may improve cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of stroke and cerebral aneurysm.
Research published in "Aha Journals" (2), showed that controlled breathing can reduce hypertension, also known as high blood pressure (HBP), a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. The conclusion of the scientific studies was that slow breathing at 6 breaths per minute increased the “baroreflex sensitivity and reduced sympathetic activity and chemoreflex activation” in patients. This suggests a clear potential beneficial effect of controlled breathing in controlling high blood pressure. Breathe on! Notes Read more about the science of Breathing here:
(1) The calming effect of breathing: Breathing control center neurons that promote arousal in mice. Article: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6332/1411
(2) Read more about Hypertension and Chacko’s research here: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.hyp.0000179581.68566.7d