Such a simple word. People dont realise how a powerful driver for change it can be in so many levels. I never realised how powerful breathing could be in changing so many factors of a human being which can turn a person into a human doing.
The story for this started when I spent many hours testing various breathing methods to develop breath control.
A lot was due to the love of expreimentation but also performance and health improvements. I never felt it took hold until I started taking more interest in meditation research and brain waves.
I had this driving urge to understand how meditation changes how people think and what the connection is to the body.
A random search on brain waves and meditation opened it all up for me. I knew about the connection between the brain and the body through the vagus nerve. This connection extends even further into the gut and is now known as the gut-brain axis.
When people say they have a gut feeling this is the body telling the brain to pay attention but more of this later....
How does breathing fit into all of this?
It is the most powerful way you can change which part of your brain is activated and change what you think..,,
Read that again.
Breathing is the only way you are able to have conscious control over an automatic body function. No other organ allows you such a powerful mechanism to change your thought patterns.
It all comes down to a nerve. The same one that connects gut and the brain.
The vagus nerve connects the brain, heart, lungs and is also the same nerve which connects into the face. This nerve is used by the brain to recieve more than 80% of signals from the body.
It is the biggest nerve outside of the spinal column. All of the signals sent to the brain tells it how the body is functioning. Stress signals are registered in the body and sent to the brain. When you are stressed you activate hormones like cortisol which increases blood pressure, breathing and heart rate.
During times of stress your breathing is shallow and fast. This is survival breathing and is all part of the fight or flight mechanism used for self preservation. This stress condition means you use the limbic part of the brain which is the primal part used for self preservation. Emotions play a big part in this part of the brain. Especially emotions like fear and anger which are used during fight and flight scenarios.
All of this signaling is done via the vagus nerve which is the highway to the brain.
To change what signals you can send to the brain change how you breathe. It sounds simple.
It is when done right. The key is doing this right.
Breathing deep is not the only thing.
Its how you breathe to activate the part of the vagus nerve which deals with relaxation and destressing.
Doing it in a specific way steps you out of the various stress modes into a calm relaxed and in control frame of mind.
To learn how to do this meant reading brain research and neuroscience to understand how the body and mind works together.
I connected the key ingredient that Japanese researches found. Their research participants were advanced breathing practitioners and could switch into this relaxed alert thinking modes. Did I mention these breathing practitioners that the brain monitoring was done on were ninja's?
The breathing method now allows me to develop calm focused mental control and allows me to have less racy thoughts. It allows for anxiety and stress reduction. My meditation has now become a consistent practice where I regularly get into the zen zone.
I have taught this to a number of people who have all had significant results in stress and anxiety reduction. This breathing method is so simple I can teach anyone to use it in 1 minute.
If this is something that is of interest to you let me know your thoughts.