TAKE A SLOW, DEEP BREATH!
BRAIN HEALTH | 9.12.2016 | BY DAYA ALEXANDER GRANT, PH.D., M.S.
It goes without saying that oxygen is necessary for the brain. The importance of quality breathing cannot be emphasized enough, so we will devote many brain health tips to the subject. It is, after all, an action we take for granted every day. For today, let’s get down to basics and discuss the power of one, single, good quality breath.
Before you keep reading, please do the following: Sit up tall and close your eyes. Take a slow, deep inhale through your nose. Hold it for a moment, and then exhale through your mouth, emptying your lungs completely. Allow your next inhale to arrive naturally.
Do you feel calmer and more grounded? Sometimes one good breath is all you need to center and refocus in order to move forward with clarity. Here’s why. A slow, deep breath:
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation (as opposite to the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response)
- Forces you to stop the constant mental chatter and focus on one action
- Enables a full exchange of oxygen – allowing oxygen to enter the bloodstream and carbon dioxide to leave
Take another slow, deep breath. Now you are better equipped to continue with your day.