What are some straightforward ways to look more attractive? Well to name two, there's exercise at the gym, there's makeup and facial care.
A lot of ink has been spilled over those subjects, and yes, they do help you to look attractive! But that's not the focus of today's episode on the Art of Likability. Today, we talk about how breathing through your nose can help you look more attractive.
Breathe Through Your Nose!
Patrick McKeown talks about the importance of breathing through your nose in a talk at TEDxGalway appropriately titled "Shut Your Mouth and Change Your Life."
I think this is just one of many fascinating stories that lend credence to breathing through your nose.
McKeown lists several of the purported benefits to breathing through your nose in the below diagram:
Compare that to breathing through your mouth:
Even in addition to these benefits of looking more attractive, the nose is also responsible for filtering the air that you breath in! That's the air that eventually gets into your lungs and into your bloodstream!
Don't Breathe Through Your Mouth!
It's funny to consider that there are even insults for mouth breathers, such as slack-jawed or even: mouth breather!
If you think about the face someone makes when they breathe through their mouth, it's not particularly pretty, is it? It looks like they're putting a lot of effort into what should seem like an effortless and natural process.
Breathing through your nose instead is more subtle, and is akin to the Lao Tzu quote the McKeown references: "Breathe as if you aren't breathing."
Breathing is so important that we consciously train to breathe through the nose, but it better not look important at all! Put that in your cogitator and ruminate on that!
In fact, we're actually going to talk about your cogitator and its relation to breathing right now!
When Was the Last Time You Thought About Your Breathing?
We generally don't think about our breathing much, and probably for good reason.
Imagine how funny/tragic it could be if you or I were in the middle of an important meeting and all of a sudden, we had to concentrate real hard on breathing.
"Hold on bro, I got to think about my breathing."
All of the cells in your body rely on oxygen in order to produce the energy they need to ride a bike, hunt down a mammoth (in caveman times), or even read and understand this very sentence! And they rely on oxygen, which is delivered into our bloodstream from the air we breathe.
That's pretty important! It's so important that we humans have evolved to basically put our breathing on autopilot. The vital task of breathing is delegated to your brainstem, the connector between your spinal cord and the rest of your brain:
It just so happens that most people tend to breathe automatically through their mouths, whether they know it or not. By nature, we've delegated the job to the brainstem, but we can in fact do better if we train to breathe through our noses.
The Art of Likability loves to learn and implement little changes that can potentially become game changers.
I also love it when we can recognize common "knee-jerk" reactions to social situations and summon the savoir-faire to handle these situations in a likable way.
This little tidbit on breathing through your nose is both of the above. Where most people put their breathing on mouthbreathing autopilot, set it, and forget it, we can step in and optimize our breathing before setting it back on autopilot.
Now science isn't my skill base, but that doesn't stop a fella from doing some research on his own and working on what he knows!
And just as I've done my own reading, go ahead and check it for yourself! There's nothing quite like your own experience to guide you.
Let me know what YOUR experience is with breathing through your nose!