Jamie Wheal: Change your consciousness by breathing

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Evolutionary and biologically encoded in every one of us – breathing. Oxygen is the fuel for our bodies, for neural computation as well as our cellular health and growth. Just realize that changing the balance of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide in our bloodstreams could completely change our consciousness.

Breathing is cheap, its free, infinitely portable, and very easy. All you need is three different sets of instructions of upregulating, downregulating, or transcending your current consciousness.

We can upregulate our nerve system, if we feel tired or nervous when giving a presentation, usually by faster more potent breathing.

If we are stressed out, need to calm down or we go to sleep, we can do the Vagal nerve breathing (ten seconds exhale to fully empty lungs, two seconds hold and inhale). Just five of those and we can downregulate our nervous system. Vagal nerve goes from our brain through our heart all the way down to our root and it modulates much of our nerve system and therefor our experience.

And if you want to really get interesting you can hyperventilate or do other breathing practice that completely transcend your waking state consciousness and create profound non ordinary state experiences.

Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman has done a research combining eye gazing – soft eye visual focus to the periphery and that Vagal nerve breathing through your nose. You completely drop your physiological thread response. You just chilled the fuck out, super-fast.

Karolinska Institute in Sweden has done some fascinating research on nasal breathing and nitric oxide. It says that nasal breathing increases nitric oxide 3-5 times. And if you really wanna get freaky, vibrating your nasal cavity as you breath out (like om chanting, didgeridoo or clarinet playing) actually increases nitric oxide production 15 times.

It corelates to Harvard research which says that nitric oxide is a neuro transmitter. This molecule takes stress response stuff out of our brains and it brings in feeling of bliss. It is sometimes called the bliss molecule.

So anything that you do with your body with increasing nitric oxide is usually good thing for stress response resilience. Calms you down and gives you quick reset.

Jamie Wheal in Hacking Collective Intelligence

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