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How Yale Students Improve Well-Being with Breathing

15 July 2022
How Yale Students Improve Well-Being with Breathing

As a parent of a young child or children, it may be a relatively normal thing for you to experience them acting out more than you’d probably like. When a child is feeling a negative emotion of any sort, chances are they’re not breathing like they do under normal, calmer circumstances. 

When anyone of any age is feeling a negative emotion, it’s relatively normal to forget to properly breathe. However, by doing this, what they’re doing is limiting themselves both physically and mentally. Deep, controlled breathing is a natural stress reducer which can also lower blood pressure, increase energy, improve digestion, and improve mental function.

That’s right! Not only does breathing deeply benefit the body, but it also benefits the mind. By remembering to breathe, one can help their mind operate at its highest level through an increased ability to focus and rationalize without letting strong emotions get in the way. This can be such a major benefit to children of any age while in school, as it allows them to unlock the full potential of their minds and achieve the focus that’s needed to do well in school.

A recent study conducted on Yale University students backs this idea up with scientific proof. In the study, 135 undergraduates at Yale were tracked for a period of eight weeks, at a total of 30 hours per student. There were three skill-building programs that were provided to those 135 students, and they were compared to a control group of students who did not partake in the skill-building programs.

One of the programs in this study relied on a breathing technique called SKY Breath Meditation, alongside yoga and a few other exercises. The SKY system is based off of a few different techniques that really focus on deep and calculated breathing. The study found that most of the students reported an improved mental state after participating in SKY: researchers found the students had less anxiety and depression in general, while showing an increase in mindfulness. 

There were two other skill-building programs that were utilized in this study, both of which were more geared towards mindfulness. Only one of the two programs showed positive results, and those positives were rather subtle compared to the widespread benefits that were uncovered in the breath meditation program.

It’s very encouraging to see how participating in breathing and relaxation exercises helps students at such a high level as it did using the SKY methodology in the Yale study. If undergrads at one of the world’s most prestigious universities can benefit from consciously using and participating in breathing exercises, imagine what it can do for a younger child!

With this knowledge in hand, it’s absolutely crucial to realize just how important it is to breathe. Your school-age children can benefit from this much like the Yale students did, by learning how to control their breath and relax, which can provide an overall improvement of mental health, mental function, and productivity. 

Aside from all of the physical benefits from breathing that you’ve already learned about, it’s truly amazing to realize just how easy it is for your children to improve their focus and mental state. While it can take a bit of time and patience to teach your children how to breathe in times of stress and negativity, once they’ve practiced enough and have it mastered, it will be second-nature to them. Any time they’re feeling nervous or stressed about school, all they have to do is channel those breathing skills that you’ve helped teach them.

So, practice breathing with your children! Practice, practice, and practice some more! Make it a routine: maybe you do it daily, maybe a few times a week, so long as you are consistent. Breathing is such a useful skill that it’s been scientifically proven to help some of the highest-functioning students in the world. It can definitely help your child or children get on their way to a clear and focused mind state. 

What could be better?!

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