For anyone who has difficulty managing emotions, a study carried out by staff from the University of Quebec and the University of Louvain demonstrated that breathing is one of the most effective ways to manage strong feelings.
The study, entitled Respiratory Feedback in the Generation of Emotion (Philippot & Blairy, 2002), involved two groups of volunteers. Group 1 was asked to produce four emotions (joy, anger, fear and sadness) through the use of memory, fantasy and by modifying their breathing pattern. During each emotion, scientists monitored and analyzed the volunteers’ breathing patterns – speed, location in the lungs, volume of air. They used their findings to draw up a list of breathing instructions to go with each emotion. Their findings might surprise people who believe emotions are set in stone and outside our control. Read more