Breathing is something your body does instinctively. Consider how, before you may even be fully aware of why, your breathing speeds up and becomes shallower in reaction to certain stressful situations, even thoughts.
It’s how your amazing sympathetic nervous system, which controls how your body responds to stress, anxiety and fear, readies you for fight or flight.
Too many of us, however, are in fight or flight mode too often, and it’s taking a toll. In fact, stress is among the leading contributors to the “top 10” causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory diseases.
But just as it acts as an alert system, proper breathing can be used as a tool to reduce stress and anxiety, slow a fast-beating heart and improve oxygenation of your blood supply — all things that promote good health.
But is proper breathing nothing more than a calming technique? Considering what it does to your brain, that answer is a resounding “no.”
According to writer Christopher André in his Scientific American article, research at the Technical University of Munich showed that just focusing attention on slowed breathing eases stress and negative emotions by reducing activity in the amygdala — the area of the brain involved in these emotions.
Here are the top 4 times that Christopher found you should pay attention to your breathing…