The 5minute breathing exercise that improves mood and anxiety, according to Stanford researchers  Yahoo Sports

The 5minute breathing exercise that improves mood and anxiety, according to Stanford researchers Yahoo Sports

Faced with evidence demonstrating the potential of controlled breathing exercises to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and other mental health conditions, researchers at Stanford University in the United States decided to compare three of them and see which performed best. The findings, published in the scientific journal Cell Reports Medicine, chose cyclic sighing as the daily technique that takes only 5 minutes to offer the greatest benefits.

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Our understanding of the effects of breathing on the brain and body should allow the development of specific sciencebased breathing practices to improve stress tolerance and sleep, increase energy, focus and creativity, and regulate emotional and cognitive states defended Stanford researchers and author of the study, Melis Yilmaz Balban, in an interview with the British newspaper DailyMail.

To come to the conclusion, 108 participants were recruited, divided into four groups and observed for one month. The first group of 30 volunteers practiced the cyclic sigh, an exercise of slowly inhaling before taking another shorter breath to fully inflate the lungs and then exhaling as much air as possible.

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In the second, the socalled box breathing was evaluated by 21 participants. In it, the person performs a process in 4 phases: inhaling air, holding the air, deflating and holding again, counting that each phase lasts the same amount of time.

Finally, 33 people tested something called cyclic hyperventilation, which involves taking multiple deep breaths followed by shorter breaths before fully exhaling. For comparison, the remaining 24 study participants performed daily meditation sessions, which also lasted 5 minutes per day.

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At the end of the month, all participants reported better indicators of mood, anxiety, and breathing rate, showing that both controlled breathing and meditation — which involves passive attention to the act of breathing — are effective to some extent. However, breathing techniques outperformed meditation, with cyclic sighing topping the list.

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“Overall, breathing exercises, particularly cyclical sighs, were more effective than mindfulness meditation in increasing positive mood, supporting our hypothesis that intentional control over breathing with specific breathing patterns provides more mood benefits than passive attention to breathing, as in of mindfulness meditation practice,” the researchers wrote.

In a post on Twitter, one of the researchers responsible for the work, Stanford neurobiology professor Andrew Huberman, suggests that the practice of controlled breathing can be a quick and free alternative to shortterm stress management.

“If you want to improve sleep and reduce daytime stress, recover from intense work, life, and/or exercise, then interventions that facilitate autonomic control (that you can actually control it), (like) breathing A short, 5 Minute structured intervention is among the most effective (and costneutral) interventions,” he wrote.