Breathe as If Your Life Depended on It
“Breathe and leave your mind blank,” says the yogi.
“Take a breather,” says your sports coach.
“Inhale, exhale”, says the doctor.
“Breathe in… long breath out,” says the massage therapist.
Breathing is so much more than a mere physiological task… it’s all around us. So what is all the hype about?
Breathing exercises have long been suspected of bringing an enormous string of benefits: cognitive performance, physical and mental health, relaxation etc. But newer studies show us jaw-dropping findings: long exhalations jumpstart our respiratory vagus nerve… yeah that long nerve connecting the brain with our gut, and with our heart and long exhales help us become better decision makers.
What about deep abdominal breathing, you may ask? While it helps opera singers and babies sustain their cries for an enviable record-time, and it assists our lymphatic return, these studies from 2018 and 2019 reveal that inhaling actually quickens our heart rate – basically filling us with oxygen in case we have to get outta Dodge, and fast. But it is the long exhale that counters it by slowing down our heart… literally.
Another eye opening recent study scientifically proves how simply stopping to breathe (especially focusing on long exhalations) will ease stress, elicit more favorable mental and emotional decision-making, and allow us to gain composure and self-control, even in the most stressful of settings. It is no wonder then why scientific studies and clinical trials on meditation, mindfulness, yoga, TCC or qi gong have soared to triple and quadruple digit numbers in the past two decades.
So next time you’re about to raid the fridge, bite off someone’s head in an argument, or feel your lockdown getting the best of you, try focusing less on breathing deeply, and more on taking your time to exhale…. It’ll buy you some time and may prevent that nasty retort you might later regret.
In this all-new world of COVID lockdowns, home-schooling, 24/7 parenting and working from home in cramped quarters, we need all the help we can get to survive the new normal. DeNatura@ Wellness workshops and programming have gone virtual… because learning and mastering breathing can also be done cybernetically in our group scheduled classes, Wellness Webinars and 1-2-1 Self-care workshops. Curious about how you and your team can benefit? Click our COVID Virtual Services tab above to learn more.