You color code like a beast, and your spreadsheets have spreadsheets. You're pretty much obsessed with getting things done. But if you're not breathing effectively, you're bound to feel sluggish and scattered. Mouth breathing during the day or in your sleep can contribute to a host of issues - and it could be sabotaging your daily routine. Find out how mindful nasal breathing helps promote focus and calm so you can slay your day.
1. It Gives You Space To Think
You can't go too far on Instagram without coming across a strongly worded reminder to stop holding your breath. You can get so absorbed in your task, you stop noticing things like your tense posture and shallow breaths. One way nasal breathing helps your performance is it forces you to slow down. And while it might feel counterintuitive, moments of reflection actually help your workflow by unlocking your imagination. This is a critical skill as more workplaces turn to agile development and encourage creative brainstorming.
Nasal breathing also aids in memory and recall. Just like you need to recover after a workout so your muscles can build, your brain needs a chance to integrate new info after a long day. This is why sleep is actually part of your work or study routine - and why it's essential to integrate restorative periods into your workflow.
2. It Helps You Sleep Better
One way mouth breathing gets in the way of your goals is it disrupts sleep. Snoring and sleep apnea wake you up throughout the night, leaving you depleted in the morning. This leads to irritability and low energy during the day. But the traditional solutions - harsh medication, invasive surgery, and irritating nasal strips - have fallen out of favor. More people are turning to instant remedies like nasal breathing aids. Worn internally these instant-effect wearables open your nostrils for better airflow.
3. It Regulates Noradrenaline
People who study yoga and meditation have long intuited that deep breathing improves mental clarity. A lot of mindfulness exercises simply encourage breath awareness, noticing how your chest rises and falls. But others take it a step further to breath control, with the specific goal of clearing your mind.
A Trinity College study recently found scientific support for this link, specifically that breathing regulates something called noradrenaline in the brain. While this chemical messenger has many functions, one is that too little of it makes you sluggish while too much makes you wired. You need just the right amount to stay sharp yet in control. The study suggests that people who focus better on tasks have more synchronization between their breathing and their attention.
4. It Lowers Blood Pressure
You're pretty aware on a day to day basis of how your breathing relates to your heart rate. But nasal breathing also affects blood pressure. Nasal breathing lowers blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide in the bloodstream. This is a chemical that supports heart health by expanding your blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.
What's tricky about our daily mental speed bumps is that we might not even notice them as "stress" or "anxiety" - but they still put our body on guard, which can have consequences for our health, like spikes in blood pressure. That's why it's so beneficial to incorporate nasal breathing as a drug-free practice to lower your risk of hypertension, the silent killer.
5. It Reduces Stress
You bought a yoga mat. You burned a candle. You cleared your inbox. But it's hard to remember you're a zen master when your shirt is dripping with cold brew and the printer's decided to quit when you’re already late for that appointment at the DMV. There's a reason people always say breathing in through your nose, out through your mouth will center you in times of stress: nasal breathing actually reduces anxiety. This is because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
You know the fight or flight response, which is when we go on autopilot to protect ourselves from danger. Our bodies can't distinguish physical danger from ordinary stress (like sending an embarrassing text to the wrong person). Either way, stress triggers the sympathetic nervous system, but there are still things within your control that allow you to cope with your stress appropriately. You can think of it like two train tracks, side by side: they're both part of your make-up, but you can shift into one or the other by flipping a switch. Breathing deeply can help you flip that switch, by activating your parasympathetic nervous system, and signaling to your brain that all is well.
Getting the most out of your day is as simple as mindfully breathing, and often nasal breathing is a simple way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your respiratory system. Check out breathehale.com for the latest and greatest breathing tips, tricks, and products to help you amplify your breath, and elevate your life.