The breath is linked to our automatic nervous system. Daily breathing practices activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with resting and digesting i.e. a more peaceful mind and body.
Here are some health benefits of breathing :
- Decrease anxiety & depression.
- Increases happiness and optimism.
- Improve sleep.
- Strengthen our ability to regulate emotions.
- Improve trauma symptoms.
- Reduce impulsivity, cravings & addictions.
- Decrease stress & regulates our body’s level of cortisol.
- Strengthen our immunity by altering genes responsible for stronger immunity.
- Reduce pain and activation of pain centers on the brain.
Kabat-Zinn makes clear the powerful connection between meditation and breathing when he writes, “The breath is the current connecting body and mind…It is the current of life.” Meditative breathing is a way to connect with the here and now, which is life.