We breathe more than we eat or drink, so of course the impact can be huge on how our body operates.
With breathing we usually think of stuff like the brainstem and if someone has something like sleep apnea, but it is so much more.
In this picture we see how people simply being aware of their breath without focusing on stuff outside of their body, but instead doing a fancy thing called “interoceptive attention” which doesn’t sound that sexy until you start to see how different regions of the brain start to work together.
The ‘Acc’ is for the anterior cingulate cortex which helps with stuff like empathy, impulse control, emotions, and decision-making.
The ‘insula’ is known for stuff like sensory-processing, decision-making, and motor control. The ‘premotor ctx’ does a lot, but it is most known for preparing us for the exact movements we want to make.
Last, but not least, is the hippocampus. Of course we think of those memory centers, but there is also connections to the emotion associated with those memories.
Without getting sciency – find a good breath rate and simply focus on that. Once it becomes routine breathing in that pattern, then think about something that is happy or something you are grateful for.
Then, bada-bing, you got yourself some brain-cohesion stew