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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Breathing and Mood

Two recent studies show how mindful breathing practices may improve mood.
Burg and Michalak examined healthy subjects who were asked to keep continued mindful awareness of their breathing for 18 minute trials. Those who were able to sustain mindful awareness reported less negative thinking, less rumination and fewer symptoms of depression.
Yu, Fumoto, et al looked at healthy subjects practicing Zen meditation with focused abdominal breathing for 20 minutes and found that they had fewer negative feelings, increased levels of serotonin in their blood and more oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex, an area associated with attention and executive functioning.

The Healthy Quality of Mindful Breathing: Associations With Rumination and Depression

Authors: Burg, Jan1; Michalak, Johannes2

Source: Cognitive Therapy and Research, Volume 35, Number 2, April 2011 , pp. 179-185(7)