When it comes to reducing stress, mindfulness is certainly important. But there’s something that’s even faster and more effective, and it’s as easy as breathing. Actually, it is breathing.
Researchers at Stanford University have found in a study that those who engage in breathing exercises see greater stress reduction than those doing mindfulness meditation. You read that right: Certain breathing exercises are more effective for reducing stress than mindfulness practice.
Study participants tried three breathing techniques, all of which had excellent results. (90% reported positive feelings afterwards.) But the breathing exercise that was the most effective is called cyclic sighing. In this technique, there’s more time and consideration spent on exhaling than on inhaling — the focus is on a release of stress and tension, and simply letting it all out.
Here at Meru Health, we’re excited about this development — nothing is more satisfying for us than seeing a simple, accessible solution have such an impact on mental health. But we also love to see it because focused breathing practices with our heart-rate variability device are central to our expert-curated, 12-week program.
From the start, our clinicians have always been attuned to the fact that breathing is square one when it comes to staying present, letting go of stress, and achieving a state of greater wellbeing.
“This study speaks to our mission in building Meru’s breathing and biofeedback features,” says Meru Health’s senior director of data science, Kirstin Aschbacher, PhD. “Through these breathing practices, we’re able to directly target the nervous system. Therapy is important for improving mental health, but it is only part of the picture. To get the best results, we also have to unwind and rebalance the nervous system. The science of breathwork is starting to bear that out.”
Start exhaling — and experiencing true, lasting relief by signing up for Meru Health today.