This is big news!!! Yet another amazing benefit of deep breathing!
Anyone who has been to class already knows the stress releasing and organ massaging benefits of deep breathing but listen to this…it can also help us fight cravings and lose weight!
The lungs can hold approximately a gallon of air, yet most of us only breath about a pint. By doing this we only engage the top portion of our lungs which is associated only with our sympathetic nervous system. This is the part of our nervous system that controls fight or flight, where anxiety and a go go go mentality reign. It is our gas pedal. When we breath full and deep breathes using all of our lung capacity we can then engage our parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). The part that helps us regulate, slowdown, be reasonable and engage our wisdom. This system is our brake pedal. This is where we access our sound mind! (2Tim 1:7)
When we take time to do centred, focused and deep breathing each day we strengthen our parasympathetic systems. It is this system that is connected to two hormones in our body that have everything to do with how we connect with food. These hormones are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the “I’m hungry” hormone and leptin is the “I’m full” hormone. Without a well trained PSNS we lose our bodies ability to regulate these hormones, so we then lose the ability to really recognize when we are actually hungry or when we are engaging in emotional eating!
And the best news is you don’t have to practice this deep breathing for hours a day in order to achieve this! Even a few minutes of focused deep breathing can be enough to start rewiring your brain and your eating habits! Listen to the podcast below and hear Alisa Keeton (Founder of RevWell) talk more in depth about this issue. She will also show you a simple way to add God’s word to your breathing. An act called Breathe Prayer : )
Alisa says “This combination of breathing, stillness and God’s word is so powerful. The Lord is the spirit and where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom! The spirit wants to rest upon you and bring you peace. It will change your brain – it will change your life!”