Breathe better to focus more

Breathe better to focus more

Breathing better increases the ability to concentrate. By inhaling oxygen, we inhale life to oxygenate the brain and sharpen the senses. Only in this way will we focus better and be able to appreciate the here and now, also making better decisions.

Breathe better to focus more

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: February 18, 2022

Breathing better means living better, we (almost) all know. What if we took a step forward and told you that improving your breathing helps you focus more? As science explains, you have to breathe deeply to oxygenate the brain and thus refine the skills of concentration and visual-spatial attention.

For the past few decades, the practice of meditation, relaxation or deep breathing has relied on valid scientific evidence. As revealed by a study conducted by the University of Ryerson, Toronto, great progress is being made in this regard in order to treat depression.

Take long breaths, inhaling deeply and holding the air for a few seconds, exhaling through the nose, sharpens our senses. Simply put, a mental reset occurs that allows us to concentrate effectively.

This data responds to a study published just a few days ago. However, it must be said that this strategy was already suggested by Daniel Goleman in his book Focus. Let's see more data on this.

The antidote to the wandering mind is metaconsciousness, it is attention to attention itself; it is learning to appreciate the present and train concentration, as if it were a muscle.

-Daniel Goleman, Focus-

Breathing better improves concentration: inhale through the nose and mental approach

The doctors Ofer Perl, Aharon Ravia, Mica Rubinson, published on March 11 in the journal Nature Human Behavior a study as interesting as it is enlightening.

They explain to us that better breathing improves concentration for a very simple reason, which we probably don't all know: the sense of smell synchronizes the activities of our brain.

The secret kept by our ancestors

The researchers advanced hypotheses on an interesting and impactful data. In the past, our ancestors relied mostly on smell to survive. There are many mammals that still use this sense today to identify dangers, smell predators and possible prey.

Primitive men must certainly have had a much more developed sense of smell than ours. For them, it was enough to stop and breathe in deeply to make a quick survey of the environment around them.

We have lost or exhausted this ability today. First of all, because we tend to neglect our sense of smell a lot. Secondly, because we hardly have time to linger.

Smell: a cognitive sense for making decisions

Nowadays we need our sense of smell above all to recognize food in bad condition, to identify the scents we like and to enjoy social relations. Smelling the scent of our loved ones, our children and our partner is part of our life. Yet, we have forgotten the other potentials of this sense.

We need to be aware of this: breathing better strengthens our concentration because it keeps our attention alive. While hard to believe, it helps us make better decisions. Recovering, so to speak, that primal instinct of our ancestors could offer us numerous advantages. The reason? This sense activates different areas of our brain.

Neurologist Ofer Perl conducted a research study at the Wrizmann Institute of Israel in support of an idea that invites reflection. When we have to do an activity that requires high levels of concentration, taking deep breaths promotes concentration.

In fact, controlling inspiration helps in turn to improve the ability to control exhalation. Furthermore, these breaths of oxygen improve our brain waves and visuospatial processes.

On the other hand, thanks to this we can also make better decisions. Concentration and optimal attention help us gather information to make better decisions.

Breathe better, a winning weapon

By now you know that better breathing improves concentration. It is easy to understand that above all it requires willpower, awareness and time to take deep breaths. It's not easy. The truth is that we are used to breathing in a hurry, almost following the second hand.

Perhaps we forget that hasty breathing increases stress, discomfort and burdens all our organs. This is why it is important to engage in activities such as mindfulness. Thanks to these techniques that mix meditation and a particular philosophy of life, we not only learn to breathe better.

We will also acquire new mental approaches and we will be able to understand the importance of slowing down, learning to be present and reducing mental overload, as well as those negative thoughts that hinder our well-being.. Succeeding takes time, willpower and commitment.

We need to recover that primitive sense of smell, make good use of it, take deep breaths to keep the surrounding environment under control, to give oxygen to the mind and to rebalance our brain activity. Small changes that can represent real revolutions in daily life, through which to reach, why not, a state of well-being.

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