Anxious? Try Hugging Your ‘Breathing Pillow’

 British researchers are betting on this.

The pillow in question looks like a regular pillow, said study author Alice Haynes. She is a Ph.D. Ph.D. from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.But when cuddled, the light blue plush pillow reveals a potentially therapeutic secret: a hidden inflatable pouch designed to mimic slow breathing.

According to Haynes, the goal is “to alleviate the high levels of anxiety students often experience during exam periods.”

However, early testing in healthy young adults who regularly find themselves in stressful situations shows that the pillow is just as effective as a controlled one. meditation while minimizing anxiety.
In search of the most effective anxiety-reducing pillow design, the team initially asked 24 British students (aged 21 to 40) to try out five different prototypes.Relief of anxiety

Four pillows respectively simulated breathing; heartbeat; purr; or purring and breathing together. The fifth pillow emitted a scattered ring of light. Just over one-third agreed that the pillow “feels like breathing” when in use, and three said that holding it in their hands was like holding a cat.

Therefore, the researchers decided to focus on the breathing cushion and refine the design for further testing.

At the same time, she stressed that further research is needed, possibly including more objective measures of anxiety such as heart rate and breathing patterns. And Svensson reiterated the important caveat that “it remains to be assessed whether this device is equally effective for people diagnosed with anxiety disorders.”More information

Harvard Medical School has more information on students and anxiety.

SOURCES: Alice S. Haynes, Ph.D. in affective tactility and research fellow at the University of Bristol, UK; Martina Svensson, Ph.D., Junior Researcher, Experimental Neuroinflammation Laboratory (ENL), Lund University, Lund, Sweden; PLUS ONEMarch 9, 2022

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