Incredible study on the power of breathing

In 2010 there were a couple of amazing studies done by Philippot, Chapelle and Blairy that showed how manipulating one’s breathing can effect one’s emotions.

In the first study, the participants were instructed to generate different emotions, like joy, sadness, fear and anger. As they experienced the emotions, they reported on their breathing.

The study showed that each emotion was connected to particular patterns of breathing. When participants felt joy, they breathed slowly and fully. When they were anxious they breathed more quickly and shallowly.

The results they received showed very clear differences between different emotional states, and they were consistent among participants and with breathing patterns recorded in other experiments,

What’s very important to understand is the second experiment.

Next, the researchers instructed a second group of participants to breathe in the patterns observed in the first study. They then asked the participants how they felt. Amazingly, just by breathing in a certain way, people reported feeling the corresponding emotions.

The take away… if you want to feel more peaceful and happy, breathe deeply and into your belly. Let your exhales be longer than your inhales.