We exist because we breathe.
We breathe because we exist.
But how much do we really care about this most simple yet profound attribute of human existence.
When we are agitated, anxious, or taking efforts to inhibit unwanted thoughts, feelings or emotions, we restrict our breathing.
On the contrary when our breathing is slow and deep we experience contentment, mindfulness, positive mood, calmness and relaxation.
Breathing is the only essential physiological function that is both voluntary and involuntary.
There are three areas of brain that regulate breathing and respiration.
The primitive brain regulates breathing in an unconscious manner.
The limbic system regulates breath to control emotional repercussions.
The most developed part of the brain, parts of the cerebral cortex facilitates intentional control on breathing.
When one consciously practices deep breathing the brain perceives absence of any threat and switches on rest-digest mode, unlike restricted breathing which initiates our flight or fight response.
So be it breathlessness or breathing healthy, breathing in and out remains as the fundamental principle of human existence.