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Imagine having a remote control for your mind. On the days when your brain simply won’t ‘switch off’, you could make it happen. When you’re stuck in a vicious negative thought cycle, you could simply press ‘pause’ and have a moment of peace. While there’s no such thing as a control for your brain, scientists suggest that breathing is the answer.
Chances are, you already know that there is a natural link between your breathing and your mind. When you’re feeling anxious or uneasy, slowing down your breath can help. Think about it. Whenever you’ve been panicking or upset, the first thing that someone tells you to do is sit down and breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Relax for a second.
While this age-old advice has been passed down through generations, many of us ignore its power. As you walk through your Kundalini Yoga journey, you will start to understand the total mastery that breathing can have over your mind. However, you should simply take our word for it. There is a growing body of research to back up these claims.
Within this chapter, we will look at the scientific link between the way that you breathe and how your mind functions. New research published in the Journal of Neuroscience has revealed an undeniable connection between the two. Here’s what you need to know.
Nasal Breathing and Your Mind
The experts wanted to find out how breathing impacts the parts of the brain connected to memory and emotional processing.
To do that, they conducted a series of studies and discovered that breathing plays a core role in managing the electrical brain signals in the olfactory cortex. These signals work with the amygdala, which processes emotions, and the hippocampus, which deals with memories. The olfactory cortex is also responsible for your sense of smell.
Working with seven epilepsy patients, the experts found that the ongoing rhythms of breathing are in sync with our brain’s “smell” control deck. When you breathe in through your nose, the quick electrical rhythms in the amygdala and hippocampus strengthen.
How Breathing Controls Your Emotions
The scientists then conducted separate studies with 60 participants, looking at the impact of nose breathing on their emotional responses. People were shown either fearful or surprised faces and had to make quick decisions based on what they saw.
The results showed that participants were able to recognize fearful faces much faster when they were breathing in through their nose. However, the same was not true when it came to breathing out or breathing through the mouth. The experts also found that participants’ memory was better when they engaged in breathing in through their nose.
According to the latest research, your brain is like a remote control for your mind. The study revealed the power of breathing in through your nose. This small and simple trick helps you to enhance your emotional responses and improve your memory instantly. With that in mind, adding breathwork to your daily self-care routine is a smart move.
See more: The History of Breathwork