The way we breathe directly influences brain activity because breathing has direct connections with different parts of the cerebral cortex, where thought, perception or imagination takes shape. It is the area of the brain that is involved in learning processes, attention, and memory.
There are two basic types of breathing, called volitional and attentional.
Explained more simply, the breathing that we do automatically, that is, the unconscious is volitional, and the one that we do deeply, conscious is the attention, is the one that is used when we breathe for example to try to calm down or to meditate. The Journal Neurophysiology magazine declares the following: The brain reacts differently when we decide to change the way we breathe because brain activity changes if we breathe deeply or do so automatically. The link between respiration and brain activity is due to respiratory rhythms as the organizing principle of the oscillations that occur in the cortex of the human brain.
We breathe twenty thousand times a day and often without knowing that we are doing it wrong. Normally we breathe with 30% of our capacities, which is curious to see that babies have a long breath and breathe through the belly. This breath is an abdominal and diaphragm breath, which is where there is the best performance to absorb energy and oxygen As adults, we are not aware that we breathe more in the upper part of the rib cage, which is the area where there is less respiratory performance, so the tensions accumulate in the abdominal area and prevent us from breathing deeply as babies do.
We are not aware of the breath we take and it is related to poor respiratory awareness and we do it as we can, to survive, becoming a subsistence breath.
The correct way of breathing as a benefit for our brain. The other way and the most appropriate for the development and functioning of our brain would be to breathe deeply, to live better and consciously. In yoga, this type of breathing is implemented since it can change the mood, allows you to face problems without mentally involving yourself in each situation as if it were the last thing that has to happen to you in life and clears your mind of inconveniences that limits you to develop new activities.
Neuroscience studies the neural bases of respiration, analyzing what happens in the nervous system and neurons when we breathe. Basic control of respiration occurs in the brain stem, where all key vital functions are controlled, such as heart rate, respiration, or control of many of the physiological functions. For this reason, serious injury to the brain stem can cause immediate death. Breathing is therefore an unconscious function that tells us a lot about the mental state. In times of stress and distress, breathing is short and rapid. In moments of relaxation, peace, and tranquility, it becomes long and deep. Now It has been seen that when we breathe deeply, respiration changes, and activity in the cortex of the brain changes. One reason to understand why, with techniques aimed at controlling breathing, we can learn to better control emotions, concentration, or the ability to memorize. By learning more about what is going on in the brain, the application of exercises and techniques that promote breathing control can be improved in the future.
Neurons tolerate a lack of glycogen and oxygen very badly, they begin to die quickly in a few seconds. The vascular and cardiorespiratory systems are highly regulated by the nervous system. Knowing the link between the nervous and cardiorespiratory systems, through breathing can influence the functioning of the nervous system. Conscious breathing is a workout and we must be aware of how the intervening muscles are organized and work on it. Full breathing seeks to use 80-85% of respiratory capacity, it is not natural breathing, but in a moment it helps us to:
Therefore, brain oxygenation is essential to keep it functioning properly and prevent problems when we reach old age, in which our brain tends to erase information and memories due to the lack of outdoor exercise and the consumption of brain oxygenators prescribed by the doctor to keep brain activity active for many more years.