The best way to de-stress, according to science

Read the article below to find out about the potential of breathing control associated to wellbeing. With the help of hypnotherapy we can learn techniques which may help us achieve the control of our breathing. Connecting this control with the use of our imagination, hypnosis can help us take control over our thoughts, our emotions and our behavior. For further information please read the pages of this blog or contact us directly.


Picture. UNSPLASH from original link at

No doubt you’ve experienced that drop in your stomach on receiving bad news, or nervous flutter before a job interview.

Our physical and mental states are intrinsically connected. And that connection is no more evident than when you’re nervous, scared or stressed.

Now, scientists are closer to discovering how deep breathing helps us when we’re feeling this way.  

A group led by scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered the specific neurones that connect breathing and state of mind. They’re located deep in the brainstem, in the body’s breathing control centre. And they have a varied job, since there are so many types of breathing; including regular, excited, sleeping, laughing, crying and yawning.

The researchers decided to pin down which specific neurons within the centre generate the different types of breathing. They did this by wiping out some of these neurons in mice – and realised that in doing so they’d cut the connection between arousal and breathing type. The mice became very relaxed – because their brains no longer had a reason to breathe faster.

Stanford’s write-up of the study states:

Further analysis showed that while these mice still displayed the full palette of breathing varieties from sighs to sniffs, the relative proportions of those varieties had changed. There were fewer fast “active” and faster “sniffing” breaths, and more slow breaths associated with chilling out.

This told scientists that this one patch of neurons impacts breathing rates by driving arousal. So in the future there’s a possibility scientists could physically manipulate this to improve the emotional states of people with anxiety.

And the secret to how slower breathing helps calm us down?

The investigators surmised that rather than regulating breathing, these neurons were spying on it instead and reporting their finding to another structure in the brainstem. This structure, the locus coeruleus, sends projections to practically every part of the brain and drives arousal: waking us from sleep, maintaining our alertness and, if excessive, triggering anxiety and distress. It’s known that neurons in the locus coeruleus exhibit rhythmic behavior whose timing is correlated with that of breathing. 

In other words – these neurons play a big part in the effects of breathing on everything else, including arousal and emotion. So slower breathing equals calmer feelings.

Article published in March 2017 at To read from original source, please click here.

About Anna Pons

Certificat (CPPD), Post Graduat Certificat (PGCert) i Post Graduat Diploma (PGD) en Hipnoteràpia Clínica, London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) i Universitat de West London (UWL)
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