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Transform Your Life With Breathing

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  March 29, 2022

It is the first thing we do when we arrive in the world and the last thing we do before we leave. It happens automatically 26,000 times a day without us even having to pay any attention to it, yet breathing is one of the only autonomic systems in our body that we can control if we choose to.

Breathing is Information

The more stressed you feel, the faster you breathe, and your brain will notice this and read it as a signal that things are not going well. That fast, shallow breathing which happens when you’re stressed is effectively telling your brain that you’re running from a lion. But the reverse of this rule is also true: if you breathe slowly, you’re giving your brain a signal that you’re in a place of calm. You will start to feel less stressed. Studies have even shown that the right kind of breathing can reduce our perception of pain. Both the pace at which you breathe and how deeply you breathe change your stress response. If all you do for one minute is slow your breathing down and aim for six breaths (one breath is in and out) in that minute, it will reduce the stress state and stimulate the thrive state.

Feel Better Live More podcast

To learn more about the benefits of a breathing practice, I’ve picked out some episodes from my Feel Better, Live More podcast that will improve your breathing and transform your life.

James Nestor

Why Changing The Way You Breathe Will Transform Your Body and Mind with James Nestor (audio version)

How we breathe affects every body system. In this episode, we discuss the long list of conditions breathing may improve and James reveals the therapeutic process behind some ‘super breathing’ techniques. Whether you’re already practising breathwork, you’re curious or yet to be convinced, James has a no-nonsense, rigorous approach we can all take something from.

To watch this episode on video click below:


Patrick McKeown

How Breathing Through Your Nose Will Change Your Life with Patrick McKeown (audio version)

Patrick believes breathing correctly – that is, through your nose, lightly, and slowly – is the secret to better health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Yet many of us are breathing through our mouths, breathing fast and shallow, and our health is suffering as a result. Patrick talks me through the science of exactly why it is that nasal breathing is so fundamental to health and he shares how learning it himself transformed his sleep and his anxiety levels.

To watch this episode on video click below:

Brian MacKenzie

How Breathing Can Transform Your Life with Brian Mackenzie (audio version)

We react to every single situation in life with our breath and we have the power to choose how we respond to any situation by controlling our breath. Amazingly, this can also affect how others will respond back to us. I understand that starting a breathing practice can feel confusing. Brian’s advice on this is reassuring. For him, breathwork is about giving it all a try, experimenting, learning and finding out what works for you. I think that is wonderfully freeing and exciting.

To watch this episode on video click below:

For more breathing techniques check out my breathing menu in 5 Breathing Techniques to Help Reduce Stress

DISCLAIMER: The content in this blog is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog or on this website.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP