Mental Fitness – How Respiration Plays a Part

It is surprising how little we know about our breathing habits and how respiration affects physical and mental fitness.Respiration is a supreme physiological requirement for survival of brain and body but also a vital need if we wish to enjoy good health and abundant energy.

We each will inhale approximately 25,000 breaths per day and an unconscious process. These breaths are usually shallow. Fortunately for our survival, even when we are unaware of it, the respiratory pump of nature relentlessly continues to supply us with energy from cradle to the grave. It would be wise to appreciate this lifeline and know more about the process.

Starting with self examination…
Are you a shallow breather or do you consciously aim take slower, deeper breaths?
Can you take a deep breath at will or do you find it difficult?
Do you generally breathe through your nose or mouth?
Do you suffer from sinus or asthma – conditions which detrimentally affect respiration?
How long can you hold your breath after inhaling? and after exhaling?
Do you sometimes suddenly realise that your respiration is lazy or its rhythm interrupted?
When does your breathing rate quicken?
Do you sometimes find one nostril blocked?

Examples of some of the benefits of improved breathing are obvious in overcoming health problems and increasing energy levels. But there are other benefits, some of them being very important regarding mental fitness and intellectual creativity.

If you are a mouth breather instead of drawing energy towards the brain through the nasal passages, it will tend to dull the intellect. So be sure to breathe through the nose.

Regular deep breathing provides more oxygen to help brain and energy levels.The brain will need the lion’s share of available oxygen just to keep it operating.

Gaining a measure of control of your respiration gives you not only increased vitality but an increased sense of control of your life. After all, your breath, although an invisible connection, is actually your life line.