A team of researchers at Aarhus University provided insights into how breathing shapes our brains and impacts our mental health. The study is published in the journal Psychological Review.
The researchers conducted a series of experiments using a combination of human and animal neuroimaging. They also reviewed previously conducted research on the respiration-brain interaction and the calming effect of breathing on the brain.
They examined how the act of breathing exerts a rhythmic influence on neural oscillations, thereby promoting healthy perception, emotional regulation, and cognition.
The results revealed that breathing calms our brain and significantly impacts our mood, thoughts, and behaviors. In fact, our pattern of breathing makes the brain more “excitable” and enhances brain activity for the better.
One of the lead researchers, Professor Micah Allen, elaborated: “Difficulty breathing is associated with a very large increase in the risk for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. We know that respiration, respiratory illness, and psychiatric disorders are closely linked. Our study raises the possibility that the next treatments for these disorders might be found in the development of new ways to realign the rhythms of the brain and body, rather than treating either in isolation.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Allen, M., Varga, S., & Heck, D. H. (2022). Respiratory rhythms of the predictive mind. Psychological review, 10.1037/rev0000391. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000391