everyone breathes. Most of the time we do it without thinking. However, those who consciously focus on breathing in and out can reap some impressive health benefits, especially for those who struggle with meditation.
A new randomized controlled study of 108 participants found that 5 minutes of daily breathing exercises over a month had similar effects on mood and anxiety as 5 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation. It turns out that
In fact, in some respects, participants assigned to the breathing group did even better.
The study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University in California, suggests that breathing exercises may be a “more potent and acute” mental health tool than meditation, and that meditation itself has antidepressant properties in treating anxiety. It may be comparable to drugs.
“If you want to improve sleep, reduce stress during the day, and recover from strenuous work, life, and/or training, it promotes autonomic control (you can actually control it), short Time (5 minutes) structured breathing is one of them — a more powerful (and less expensive) tool,” says neuroscientist and co-author Andrew Huberman. I have written on Twitter.
In the current experiment, participants reported mood and vital signs such as heart rate, breathing rate, and sleep on a daily basis. Those who worked on their breathing for five minutes each day had the most stress relief at the end of the month and improved mental and physiological health daily.
Additionally, the current study tested three different breathing techniques and found one of them to be the most effective.
Participants asked to practice periodic sighs – where exhalation was noticeably longer – showed greater improvement than participants asked to practice box breathing – inhale, pause, exhale If all durations of – or periodic hyperventilation – inhalation is longer and exhalation is shorter.
To be clear, the breathing and mindfulness techniques in this study each have their own benefits. However, the breathing exercise group reported more positive emotions than the mindfulness meditation group.
According to at least this one experiment, there is something about controlled breathing that seems to set it apart.
Previous respiratory studies have shown that inhalation generally increases heart rate and exhalation decreases heart rate. Perhaps that is why periodic sighs are so effective. Focusing on exhaling may calm your body and mind.
Box breathing, on the other hand, is often used by military personnel to keep them calm during stressful situations. Controlled hyperventilation may also be used to alleviate anxiety and panic.
The positive effects of meditation tend to take time to manifest.
“There are several ways that voluntary controlled breathing differs from mindfulness meditation practices,” the researchers wrote.
“Controlled breathing directly affects respiratory rate and can induce more immediate physiological and psychological sedative effects by increasing vagal tone during slow exhalation.”
More research is needed to clarify the differences between controlled breathing and passive meditation, but there is something about intentional thinking that appears to have more direct health benefits.
As humans, we do not have complete control over our bodies, and sometimes it can become a truly frightening reality. It is possible that
This research cell report medicine.