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A recent survey based on more than 150,000 interviews in over 100 countries suggested that 40% of adults had experienced stress the day preceding the survey
Clifon, J. Global Emotions: Negative Experience Index
As people navigate the varied stresses of life, finding ways to manage stress is critical. Not only does stress and anxiety negatively impact our mental and physical health, but it can also impact our work and personal relationships. With that in mind, a recent study focused on the potential for breathwork to alleviate stress and improve mental health. Here, we’ll dive deeper into the study to learn more about its findings.
Study: Effect of breathwork on stress and mental health: A meta‑analysis of randomised controlled trials
by Guy William Fincham, Clara Strauss, Jesus Montero‑Marin, and Kate Cavanagh
According to the study, there is growing evidence that breathwork can be a useful tool for managing stress and anxiety. In their analysis, the researchers found that breathwork techniques such as pranayama can have a positive impact on reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as reducing overall stress.
One of the unique benefits of breathwork is that it can be an easily accessible tool for anyone, regardless of their physical fitness level or experience with meditation or mindfulness practices. By simply focusing on our breath, we can begin to slow down our thoughts and enter into a more relaxed and grounded state.
The study notes that more research is needed to better understand how and why breathwork impacts our mental health. However, the researchers believe that one possible explanation is that practising breathwork can activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating our body’s relaxation response. By activating this relaxation response, breathwork may help us feel more at ease and better equipped to handle stress.
Overall, the findings of this study are promising for those looking for natural and accessible ways to manage stress and anxiety. By adding breathwork to our daily routine, we can potentially experience improvements in our mental health and overall well-being. Whether it’s through regular pranayama practice or simply taking a few deep breaths throughout the day, there are many ways to incorporate breathwork into our lives and benefit from its positive effects.