Ep. 014 – Be Mindful of Your Breathing

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Good morning and welcome to Episode 014 of the Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode. Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you can receive pointers 365 days a year that will help enhance the performance of your brain!

In Episode 014, Dr. Trayford discusses the power of breathing. Meditation is as old as the stars, and it has gotten its 15 minutes of fame lately, but is the average person really taking advantage of this great tool? Dr. Trayford challenges us to make the time – 15 minutes a day – to just breathe!

If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.

More and more people are hearing the term mindful or mindfulness. Being mindful is exactly what it sounds like. It’s what you’re consuming your mind with at that time.

When it comes to brain health being mindful of our daily activities has a lot of positive benefits. On an average day, our brains can be bogged down with to-do lists, taking care of kids and pets, managing your career and all the other things that take up space in our mind.

We can add to this the fact that many people spend a lot of time sitting in front of their computer, with multiple browser windows open and their cell phone right by their side waiting for text messages.

With our brains being consumed with processing information, that we often don’t make the time to be mindful of the basics of our body and the surrounding environment. Taking some quiet time to be mindful of our breathing or heart rate can have a positive impact on the brain that goes beyond simple stress management.

The process itself doesn’t take a great deal of time out of each day. It could be as short as two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes with 20 minutes at the maximum. A simple breathing exercise like we discussed in
our earlier tip on 1:2 Breathing which is a good place to start.

All you need to do is find a time at some point in your day, where you sit in a quiet place, away from phones, browsers, kids, pets and all of your usual distractions and simply listen to your breathing. Be mindful of your breathing, as the air is coming in through your nose how does it feel? Is it cold? Usually it’s a little bit cooler coming in and a little bit warmer going out.

So you want to feel the air coming in through your nose breathing out through you mouth it will be a little bit warmer going out and you’ll be mindful of your lungs inflating. Where do they inflate? Is it the chest? Is it the level of the stomach?

We should be inflating at the stomach first and then the chest last. So, being a bit more mindful of breathing patterns is really quite important. And there’s a book that I’ll refer to in other episodes. The authors name slips me at this point, but there’s a great book that was written about fifteen years ago that was called How God Changes your brain.

The book really has nothing to do with any specific religion or anything like that. It’s about the impact of meditation and prayer on brain function and there is really some incredibly relevant research that is a great tool for people to understand how simply being mindful can impact your brain for the better.

Jason: I believe that’s Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman
Excellent! Thank you for that, I appreciate that.

That was a great read. I read it a long time ago, but it’s always stuck with me because. Some people like to know that there’s evidence behind what they’re doing and being mindful, meditating and taking your attention away from the distractions of the day and putting them on something singular or some type of body process like heart rate and breathing. It can be incredibly powerful for shutting the brain down and allowing it to heal more efficiently and learn more efficiently. So it’s more than just sitting and listening to your breath. It’s about healing and pushing your brain in a positive direction.

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