Breathe to Regulate Your Nervous System

Published on
September 6, 2023

Consciously breathe to regulate your body systems.

Everyone is born with irregular breathing patterns. Breathing patterns in babies look different than in adults because their respiration isn’t fully developed.

Fun Fact: the lungs do not completely develop until 18 months of age and reach maturity between 20-25 years old.  

Fascinating, right?

Babies have to learn to use their lungs and the muscles associated with breathing. Babies breathe more through their nostrils than their mouth; they can breathe really fast, and take long pauses between breaths. As babies develop, they mirror the breathing patterns of their primary caregiver, simultaneously learning how to regulate their nervous system. For example; if a caregiver is living in a state of constant distress, their breathing pattern will match this, keeping the nervous system heightened. This distressed breathing pattern is then passed on to the child, leading to the child having difficulty recognizing what it feels like to calm down and experience relaxation. In contrast, if the caregiver is able to experience relaxation and to manage their emotions, this informs the child how to do so as well.

As you can see, we develop the foundation of our breath patterns and nervous system from a very early age. Our breath is closely linked to our nervous system, behavior, and overall health.

Adults can quickly develop a dysfunctional breathing habit triggered by stress, life events, posture, and in many other ways based on our lifestyle. This can lead to difficulty with sleep, feeling balanced, managing our emotions or thoughts, and negatively effect all systems in the body.

This is another reason why conscious breathing can change your life.

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