Breathing Techniques

Different breathing techniques can be very beneficial for combatting stress.

Firstly to mention breathing right throughout the day.

What is breathing right? Breathing right is breathing with your belly rather with your chest.

Belly Breathing

Belly Breathing/diaphragmatic Breathing and Stress

Diaphragmatic Breathing/Belly Breathing:

When practicing diaphragmatic breathing, the stomach, rather than the chest, moves with each breath, expanding while inhaling and contracting while exhaling. -

In simple words Diaphragmatic Breathing is breathing with your Belly, or Belly Breathing.

How to breathe | TedTalk | Timestamp:433s


Here is a study that examined Belly Breathing. Which stated:

There was a significant interaction effect of group and time in the diaphragmatic breathing condition on cortisol levels, whereby the BIG [Belly Breather Group] had a significantly lower cortisol level after training - study

In the diaphragmatic breathing condition, there was a significant interaction effect of group by time on sustained attention, whereby the BIG showed significantly increased sustained attention after training, compared to baseline. - study

Product Idea: Diaphragmatic/Belly Breathing Tracker

The above study makes you question why isn't there a device that would encourage correct belly breathing.

A possible implementation would be the usage of piezoresistive fabric, worn as a wearable around the belly that would allow to give fairly accurate assessment of the whether the customer is correctly breathing or not.

Cyclic Sighing

Next to mention is not a very intense breathing technique that can be incorporated into daily morning routine or invoked upon when necessary throughout the day without being very intense: Cyclic Sighing.

Cyclic Sighing

A recent Stanford University study has revealed that breath work wins for the fastest means to calm the body and mind. While meditation is a wonderfully supportive resource (and if you do it, keep at it!), many find it challenging to sit with their thoughts and often feel more anxious because of it. Shelly Boggs (Life Force Coach)

The study highlighted “Cyclic Sighing” as the most effective method. How to:

  • Inhale slowly through the nose (belly-breathing), and then take another shorter breath to fully inflate the lungs.
  • Then exhale from the mouth for as long as possible, ideally doubling the length of the out breath.
  • Repeat for 1-5 minutes.

This same method has been mentioned by Andrew-Huberman. However, take note there is a video that uses Andrew-Huberman branding on youtube on cyclic sighing, The guy took 1 cycle of breath from the podcast and expanded it into long form. The Breath time in the video is too fast. (video NOT to follow).

Wim Hof Breathing

Wim Hof Breathing (or Cyclic Hyperventilation with Breath holds) personally is one of the more intense breathing methods.

Wim Hof Breathing

Wim Hof breathing tutorial by Wim Hof

There are interesting studies around Wim Hof Breathing.

For example study that showed that Autonomic nervous system and the immune system can be influenced voluntarily. (Here is a news story related to this study).

Also to note from the same study:

In the intervention group [Wim Hof Breathing], practicing the learned techniques resulted in intermittent respiratory alkalosis and hypoxia resulting in profoundly increased plasma epinephrine (adrenaline) levels. - study

Definitions for above quote
  • Respiratory alkalosis is a condition in which the pH of the blood becomes too alkaline (greater than 7.45) due to a decrease in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood.
  • Hypoxia: the body is deprived of an adequate supply of oxygen.
  • increased plasma epinephrine levels: there is a higher amount of epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) present in the blood.

I don't have a study to link for direct relationship for Wim Hof Breathing and stress. However, from personal experience it helps.

However, it is interesting that something that causes adrenaline to spike up also appears to help with stress. 🤷.

  1. Combatting Stress Through Belly Diaphragmatic Breathing Throughout the Day
  2. Cyclic Sighing
  3. Wim Hof Breathing