You’ve likely been advised at some point to “take a deep breath” or “just breathe” during moments of panic, shock, or distress. Have you ever noticed how these situations affect your breathing? Our breathing patterns can indeed reflect our mental state. While many people might be skeptical about the importance of proper breathing, often due to unawareness or indifference, understanding and improving our breathing can be a powerful tool for managing our mental and emotional well-being.
In his book “Breath,” renowned journalist James Nestor asserts that many humans have lost touch with the basics of proper breathing, often resorting to rapid mouth breathing. He observes that multitasking office workers frequently exhibit irregular breathing patterns, sometimes even holding their breath while engrossed in their computer screens. Such habits can exacerbate anxiety and other mental health challenges. The pace and depth of our breathing play significant roles in determining our mental and emotional states. Recent research suggests that conscious breathing, which most of us do without much thought, can be a gateway to achieving calmness, peace, and better mental health. By adopting specific breathing practices, we can enhance our psychological well-being right at home. Let’s explore what the Greater Good Magazine, published by Berkeley Education, has to share on this topic.