A study has found that counting breaths has a positive affect on making participants be more mindful, a practice that is being incorporated into classrooms at University of Wisconsin.
The new study published in Frontiers in Psychology coming from the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior shows the positive effects counting breaths can have on the mind and body. It’s entitled, “A Mind You Can Count On: Validating Breath Counting as a Behavioral Measure of Mindfulness.”
Daniel Levinson, a graduate student at the Waisman Lab and lead author of the paper, said he came up with the idea through video games.
“Part of my research was to try to come up with a game … by playing it, you’d become more mindful,” Levinson said.
The study involves participants pushing a button on a computer each time they take a breath, causing them to be more aware of their breaths.
In addition to the game helping a person become more mindful, it also measures mindfulness, which is the more dominant part of the study, Levinson said.
“In four independent studies with over 400 total participants, we present the first construct validation of a behavioral measure of mindfulness: breath counting. We found it was reliable, correlated with self-reported mindfulness, differentiated long-term meditators from age-matched controls and was distinct from sustained attention and working memory measures,” Levinson said.
(please click the link for the complete article)