We all know that Diaphragmatic Breathing is a great way to unwind and relax, but what other benefits could we gain? A recent study found potential for increasing focus and reducing negative effects, such as stress.
20 diaphragmatic breathing sessions were conducted in a quiet sunlight room, where participants salivary cortisol levels were measured after each test. Our cortisol levels are a very consistent indicator of stress, as its concentration will increase in order to cope with stressful events, which creates a reliable test. A significant reduction of cortisol was seen after 20 sessions of Diaphragmatic breathing.
A single intervention was also used to measure Sustained Attention after the sessions of breathing, where increased performance was evident, with long term benefits of attention-oriented tasks being suggested by related studies.
Stress and mental fatigue play a large role in injury. Diaphragmatic Breathing sessions may be a great way to ensure we don’t burn out.
Ma, X., Yue, Z., Gong, Z., Zhang, H., Duan, N., & Shi, Y. et al. (2017). The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults. Frontiers In Psychology, 8. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874.
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