Actively Engage Your Breath Every Day

Science is showing that mindful, conscious breathing (paying attention to your breath and learning how to control it) is one of the fastest and most effective ways to lower everyday stress levels and improve mental and physical health.  

Roger Cole PhD a physiology researcher at Del Mar, California says that “Breath is a physical  and mental-health practice. It is not just breath training, it’s mind training that uses the breath as a vehicle to access the mind.” Dr Cole went on to state that a simple breath can make your entire life better.  

We are programmed to breathe automatically and unconsciously.  However, you can learn the art of taking fuller breaths and breathing deliberately to help you deal with common everyday stressors.  Conscious breathing helps you to not only boost energy levels instantly, but it can also help to kickstart inner balance that is commonly lacking in our fast paced modern living.  

Most people have a lot to learn and improve upon when it comes to the most basic of our physiological functions. Dr Patricia Gerberg and co-author of The Healing Power of the Breath states that most people tend to take anywhere from 14 to 20 breaths per minute, which is about three times faster than the 5 or 6 conscious breaths per minute proven to help you feel at your best. 

Your breath is the bridge between mind and body and helps you to strengthen the connections between both.  Once this connection is mastered the benefits can be numerous. 

We all know and experience that breath changes in response to emotion: when you are happy and calm your breath is slow and rhythmic.  But when you get panicky and anxious, your breath becomes shallow and rapid.  When we actively change the breath rate we can consciously switch between our autonomic functions and mood state.

Here’s how researchers think it works: with each breath, millions of sensory receptors in the respiratory system send signals via the vagus nerve to the brainstem. Fast breathing pings the brain at a higher rate, triggering it to activate the sympathetic nervous system: turning up stress hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, sweat production, and anxiety.  On the other hand, consciously slowing your breathing induces the parasympathetic response, dialing down all of the above as it turns up relaxation, calmness, and mental clarity.  

Unfortunately, we are part of a global nation that is constantly in a state of internal stress.  People's bodies rarely leave the sympathetic “stress response” system. The body cannot differentiate between actual real life threatening situations and a perceived stress that is caused by a message, email or daily grind.  

We were all designed to live in the parasympathetic system.  It is now becoming a necessity for us to learn how to consciously manipulate our internal systems so that we can go back to living in the way we were designed to live: in the relaxed, digest and restore systems.  When you can control your parasympathetic systems you can master how your body and mind reacts to external non life threatening stimuli.  One of the most effective ways to manipulate and turn on the calm receptors is with the breath.  The key to using your breath as a wellbeing tool is to take fewer deeper breaths per minute.  

The art of conscious and mindful breathing is not automatic and needs to be learned, practiced daily in order to skillfully use it whenever the need arises.  At Ambba™ we use the breath to lead your movements during classes to take them to a deeper and more profound level.  By incorporating the breath in your daily movement practice you will become a master of your own breath which, in turn, will take your self care, inner calm and well being to a whole new level.

Published on May 6, 2020 • 3 min read
Category: Breath


I'm the creator of the Ambba™system that helps ladies like you to achieve overall mental well-being and physical health in a hectic world.


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