Using the Breath to Focus the Mind

How Does Breathing Impact Memory?

One way breathing impacts memory is via the relaxation response. Slow, deep, and conscious belly breathing helps to lower your heart rate and blood pressure while sending safety signals to the calming branch of your nervous system. Breathing rhythms create electrical activity in the brain and inhaling, in particular, seems to reinforce memory retention. 

A study comprised of forty students determined that just 12 relaxation training sessions were enough to significantly increase focus. It also turns out that breathing through your nose can help you retain and remember information better.

A great one for this is Box Breathing, also known as Square Breathing.

Here’s how to do it:

Create comfort, and check what that means to you. Sit and raise your arms overhead to stretch and lengthen the spine. Keep the body lengthened, while lowering the arms. Relaxing your mouth, face, neck, jaw, and shoulders.

Be where you are in a state of observation. Feel that your body is sitting. That there is space around you, and in you, and that your breath is moving. Lift the corners of your mouth, to help bring a positive joyful attitude in.

1. Breathe through your nose, inhaling for four counts. Expand your lower belly outwardly. This will activate the safety signals to the calming and soothing part of your nervous system.

2. Holding for four counts (overtime you can enjoy the pause) 

3. Exhaling for four counts. Contracting your lower belly inwardly.

4) Holding for four counts.

Repeat & enjoy.

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