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How to control your emotional state through breathing

Friday, May 24, 2013 by: Seppo
Tags: breathing, mental health, natural remedies

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(NaturalNews) For centuries, the art of breathing has been one of a myriad of tools employed by Yoga masters in order to calm the body and mind, in preparation for meditation, contemplation or simply to remain in control of one's emotions. Long utilized as a spiritual practice, a recent study has now brought the use of breathing as a way to control emotions into the realm of neuroscience. The results are promising and could mean a reduction in the administration of drugs as a form of anxiety, depression and anger management.

The study and its findings

Carried out at the Universite de Louvain by Dr. Pierre Philippot, the research study focused on two groups with the aim of investigating whether breathing can generate and regulate emotions and their intensity.

While we are already aware that breathing has a calming effect on us, in situations such as when we are under pressure or in the midst of panic, it isn't clear whether breathing actually generates emotions. This study helped immensely in that regard since it showed that each emotion actually has a specific breathing pattern associated with it.

For example:

Panic - Short, fast, shallow breaths
Anger - Long forced breaths
Calmness - Slow steady breaths
Happiness - Long inhalations, long exhalations

The first group was asked to generate each of the above emotions by modifying their breathing pattern and recalling a memory that helps in eliciting that emotion.

Each participant from group one also filled out a questionnaire, citing breathing patterns alongside each emotion according to their own experience. This questionnaire proved to be eye-opening as the answers garnered were in accordance with each other right across the board, for the most part. That is, each participant used a similar breathing pattern to generate happiness (and this holds true also for the other emotions).

The second group was asked to breathe using the breathing patterns from the first study group. Not long after, they began to experience the specific emotion attached to that particular breathing pattern made clear in the first part of the test.

The results suggest - just as Yoga masters and instructors have known for centuries, breathing really does affect one's emotional state.

What does this mean for you?

Quite simply, it means that there is now another tried and tested method for controlling our emotional state, which previously was believed so difficult. Once this information is passed on to the general public, no longer just in possession of Yoga practitioners, we might see a slight improvement in the general mental health of the population.

Sufferers of anxiety, depression, anger etc. will be able to learn how to control their emotions through breathing and this could mean a drop in the dependence upon drugs as a treatment. For many, drugs are not working, and are in fact making things worse.

Granted, just as with anything that requires concentration, such as exercise or meditation, breathing to control one's emotions undoubtedly requires discipline and diligence. Nevertheless, these results offer a much needed alternative to the limited techniques already in use for those in emotional turmoil and could one day be employed by therapists and counselors.

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About the author:
Seppo Puusa writes AcneEinstein.com blog - the place for science-based advice about alternative and natural acne treatments. We all love natural solutions to health problems, but with so many different solutions out there it can be hard to know what really works. That's where AcneEinstein.com comes in. I scour the scientific literature and report back to you.

His book Clear for Life: Science-Based Natural Acne Treatment Program is available on Amazon.

Visit AcneEinstein.com to get science-based answers to your natural acne treatment questions.

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