When you breathe slowly, anxiety decreases and blood pressure drops. That is why it is most important to control your breathing during an anxiety attack. But it has also been proven that breathing of another person can calm you down.
If your partner lies next to you and breathes more slowly, it is likely that your breathing will synchronise. The same goes for pets, so many people like a dog or cat to lie on them. That’s exactly the idea behind this pillow. It should mimic the breathing and thus calm you down.
Alice Haynes, from Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, and her colleagues who created this pillow probably got the idea from the creator of a therapeutic robot called Paro which has the shape of a baby seal.
Researchers from Saarland University even tested this pillow on more than 100 volunteers and the results were impressive. The pillow provided the same benefits as meditation.
Although it is prototype as of March 2022, this huggable pillow is fully functional and very easy to use. Its total length is 36 cm, and it consists of an inner chamber that is inflatable and an outer cover made of very soft fabric. The inner chamber is connected to an external pump and motor that together inflate and deflate the pillow. The tempo is such that it imitates human lungs and slow breathing as accurately as possible. As this is a very simple mechanism, we believe that the pillow will be durable and that the service life will be long even if you use pillow every day. But that remains to be seen.
As far as one knows, it is enough to hug this pillow for a few minutes and forget about anxiety. The creators of this potentially revolutionary pillow that mimics breathing say that if you use it regularly in the evening, it is possible that your night's sleep will be significantly improved, because nighttime anxiety is the most common type of anxiety.
Since it has been proven how important breathing is to calm down, then this pillow definitely makes sense. What will be interesting to see is what results it will have on a wide sample once it is launched.
So, what do you think about the Hugging pillow? Would you ever use it to battle anxiety? Let us know in the comment section!