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Wed Nov 18, 2020, 04:29 PM

Vision and Breathing May Be the Secrets to Surviving 2020

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vision-and-breathing-may-be-the-secrets-to-surviving-2020/|

We are living through an inarguably challenging time. The U.S. has been facing its highest daily COVID-19 case counts yet. Uncertainty and division continue to dog the aftermath of the presidential election. And we are heading into a long, cold winter, when socializing outdoors will be less of an option. We are a nation and a world under stress.

But Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University who studies the visual system, sees matters a bit differently. Stress, he says, is not just about the content of what we are reading or the images we are seeing. It is about how our eyes and breathing change in response to the world and the cascades of events that follow. And both of these bodily processes also offer us easy and accessible releases from stress.

Huberman’s assertions are based on both established and emerging science. He has spent the past 20 years unraveling the inner workings of the visual system. In 2018, for example, his lab reported its discovery of brain pathways connected with fear and paralysis that respond specifically to visual threats. And a small but growing body of research makes the case that altering our breathing can alter our brain. In 2017 Mark Krasnow of Stanford University, Jack Feldman of the University of California, Los Angeles, and their colleagues identified a tight link between neurons responsible for controlling breathing and the region of the brain responsible for arousal and panic.

This growing understanding of how vision and breathing directly affect the brain—rather than the more nebulous categories of the mind and feelings—can come in handy as we continue to face mounting challenges around the globe, across the U.S. and in our own lives. Scientific American spoke with Huberman about how it all works.

(Cont.)

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Vision and Breathing May Be the Secrets to Surviving 2020 (Original post)
Ponietz Nov 2020 OP
Laelth Nov 2020 #1
Ponietz Nov 2020 #4
Laelth Nov 2020 #7
58Sunliner Nov 2020 #2
Zoonart Nov 2020 #3
58Sunliner Nov 2020 #5
Zoonart Nov 2020 #6
littlemissmartypants Nov 2020 #8
Ponietz Nov 2020 #9
littlemissmartypants Nov 2020 #10
myccrider Nov 2020 #11

Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 04:33 PM

1. I am PRETTY DARN SURE that breathing is essential to survival.

I was completely unaware of how essential vision may be, however, and I appreciate your posting this article for that interesting insight.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 04:40 PM

4. Glad your stress levels are under control

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Response to Ponietz (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 04:44 PM

7. Currently ... but I make no long-term promises on that subject. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 04:34 PM

2. Breathwork. Practictioners of yoga, meditation, etc.. know this.

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Response to 58Sunliner (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 04:39 PM

3. Literally for centuries.

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Response to Zoonart (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 04:40 PM

5. Western medicine discovers thousands year old holistic therapy!

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Response to 58Sunliner (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 04:42 PM

6. Like a miracle!

LOL

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 01:18 AM

9. This one could be posted in a dozen groups

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Response to Ponietz (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 02:05 AM

10. It really could. The more exposure the better. ❤ nt

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Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 02:00 PM

11. Fascinating!

Meditation hasn’t worked well for me - I was trained as part of a pain control clinic. I did learn that deep breathing was helpful even if I haven’t been able to consistently achieve the "high" that releases endorphins.

I just tried the ‘look at the horizon and unfocus the eyes’ (to paraphrase) and it actually relaxed muscles! Way cool. Look forward to reading the results of their latest study about what types of breathing are most effective.

Thanks for posting.

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