Derek Beres’ article on BigThink titled Researchers Might Have Just Figured Out Why Deep Breaths Work is insightful for how we can capitalize on something as simple as the breath. He states: “Taking deep breaths is calming because it does not activate the neurons that communicate with the brain’s arousal center…
“Breathing is the entry point to many forms of meditation. Veterans attempting to reintegrate into society have utilized calming breathing techniques. Besides soothing their nervous system, the breath also offers a stable point of focus, which creates cognitive and emotional space between the barrage of imagery and the present moment. Coping, then healing, can be found in the breath.”
He points out a simple fact that we’ve forgotten: “Since we were children we’ve been told to ‘take a deep breath’ when angry or upset.” Take a deep breath; stand up straight; count to ten. We’ve forgotten how the simple things taught to us as children are still relevant for us as adults. We don’t need to understand the inner workings of the brain to benefit from the breath. Just breathe deeply.