Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Scientists say this is the most effective way of calming anxiety

iStock-505138830.jpg

Anxiety is a part of life for some 8 million people living in the UK, and women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders than men.

People use numerous coping strategies to help soothe the symptoms of anxiety, from exercising regularly to keeping a bullet journal or expressing themselves creatively, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to managing the condition.

However, a revolutionary new piece of research appears to have struck upon a simple method that could help the majority of us soothe anxiety, calm the mind and relax the body.

All we have to do is take some slow, deep breaths.

Breathe deeply to help soothe anxiety

Breathe deeply to help soothe anxiety

While this might sound like common sense, scientists have now found a direct link between the way we breathe and our state of mind.

The research, published in Science, identified a group of neurons in the brain’s “breathing centre” that also have a “direct and dramatic influence on higher-order brain function”.

By taking slow, deep breaths, we can therefore promote a sense of calm within our minds.


Read more: Meet the kickass women perfectly depicting anxiety


Mark Krasnow, a professor of biochemistry at Stanford University, who led the research, told TIME, “This liaison to the rest of the brain means that if we can slow breathing down, as we can do by deep breathing or slow controlled breaths, the idea would be that these neurons then don’t signal the arousal center, and don’t hyperactivate the brain.

“So you can calm your breathing and also calm your mind.”

The connection between deep breathing and our state of mind has even been suggested as a way to increase productivity in the workplace, with “happiness guru” Max Strom recommending that workers take “breathing breaks” to make them calmer and more efficient.

Sounds worth a try to us.

Images: iStock

Related

dating with bipolar.jpg

“Dating with bipolar: how I learnt to be open about my mental health”

adele (2).jpg

Adele emotionally explains why she may never tour again

kate-middleton-mental-health-motherhood-out-of-the-blue-film-launch-heads-together-3.jpg

Kate Middleton opens up about motherhood and mental illness

Comments

More

The 5 most surprising things I learnt from appearing on First Dates

What's it really like to appear on First Dates?

by Jasmine Andersson
22 Jun 2017

Rihanna just gave a heartbroken fan the best relationship advice

The pop star took time out to give a fan this brilliant tip

by Stylist
22 Jun 2017

First Dates fans respond to “shocking” mansplaining incident

“A frightened, insecure monkey hanging on to his patriarchal perch for dear life”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

Golden rules of work happiness from Europe’s female tech leaders

From nap rooms to therapists and no overtime

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Hero mum has more fun at university orientation than student daughter

“I made some friends. Don’t wait up!”

by Amy Swales
22 Jun 2017

The personality trait you're most likely to inherit from your parents

How far does the apple fall from the tree?

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

Theresa May: 600 tower blocks have similar cladding to Grenfell Tower

Thousands of homes across the country may be at risk from ‘combustible’ panelling

by Moya Crockett
22 Jun 2017

Grenfell Tower survivors to be rehomed in 'luxury' flats

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

Australian politician expertly shuts down manterrupter

"You're not my type either mate"

by Jasmine Andersson
22 Jun 2017

Why cycling to the office could be the best thing you do all day

Skip the hellish commute, get on your bike

by Moya Crockett
22 Jun 2017