Sounds simple but also far fetched, doesn’t it? But really, deep in our brain, the limbic system decides if any particular stimulus is worthy of activating our “fight or flight or freeze” mechanisms. If activated we either put tremendous energy – glucose, muscle readiness, cortisol and adrenalin release into survival. Or, conversely, we can become numb, depressed and inactive. In either case guess what takes a back burner? New learning and the potential plasticity’s of our brain. After all, if you might die what is the advantage to learning?
An antidote? Breathing that utilizes the full action of the diaphragm “resets” our nervous system allowing us to move out of fight / flight or freeze. In our society these options too often become habits, leading to what we experience as chronic stress. Learn to use the full power of your diaphragm by focusing on the complete release of your exhalation. It can take a bit of practice but the rewards are great. Over time you can notice more creativity, memory improvement and an easier time understanding complexity.
What experiences do you have with breathing and feeling smarter?