On Nov. 8, 2022, the day of much-anticipated midterm elections, The New York Times published a list of tips to help particularly stressed election watchers. A couple of those tips earned the Times a round of jeering from right-wing media and social media users.

Yes, the tips came from the Times. Some seem straight forward enough. Limit scrolling on your phone for updates, take a short walk, for example. A couple of them went viral for the wrong reasons, including “breathe like a baby” and face-plunge into ice water.

The list of tips is titled “5 ways to soothe election stress” with pointers that include, “Breathe like a baby. Focus on expanding your belly as you breathe, which can send more oxygen to the brain.” Here’s a screenshot of the list, as posted on the social media platform Twitter:

(Screenshot, @nytimes Twitter page)

The phrase “breathe like a baby” may sound infantilizing, but the breathing practice described in the list above is a technique known as diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes called belly breathing, and it is known to ease anxiety and stress, whether it’s from the watching election returns or anything else.

Licensed clinical psychologist Dianne Grande wrote in Psychology Today that the technique works because “it signals the brain and body to relax.” That’s because it stimulates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, known as the “rest and digest” aspect of the nervous system — think of it as the opposite of the “fight or flight” response, per the University of California, Los Angeles’ Health blog.

We can’t say we found much in the way of reputable medical sources to support the idea that going face first into a bowl of ice will help with anxiety, election-related or otherwise, though Psychology Today says research does support the idea that hot and cold baths can help with mood.


“Relaxation Therapies,” Integrative Digestive Health & Wellness, UCLA Health. https://www.uclahealth.org/medical-services/gastro/wellness/wellness-approaches/relaxation-therapies#:~:text=Diaphragmatic%20breathing,rest%20and%20digest)%20nervous%20system. Accessed 9 Nov. 2022.

Solan, Matthew. “Ease Anxiety and Stress: Take a (Belly) Breather.” Harvard Health, 26 Apr. 2019, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ease-anxiety-and-stress-take-a-belly-breather-2019042616521.

Grande, Dianne. “The Simplest Stress Management Skill.” Psychology Today, 31 July 2021, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-it-together/202107/the-simplest-stress-management-skill.

Bethania Palma

Source link

You May Also Like

PolitiFact – Hurricane Ian was a natural disaster, not a political conspiracy to devastate Floridians

Floridians have started the process of recovery after Hurricane Ian wrecked large…

PolitiFact – No evidence that ballots found in California county signal Democratic scheme

On Nov. 11, an NBC News affiliate in California’s Bay Area reported…

Xi Jinping secures 3rd term as China’s Communist Party leader, further concentrating power

Posted By: Media Bias Fact Check October 23, 2022 Chinese President…

MAGA Inc. – FactCheck.org

Political leanings: Republican/Conservative 2020 total spending: N/A Make America Great Again Inc.…

FACT FOCUS: Biden cancer remark causes confusion

President Joe Biden’s speech at a former coal-fired power plant in Massachusetts…

PolitiFact – Adam Laxalt supports letting states restrict abortion, but hasn’t called for bans with no exceptions

In a toss-up race that could determine which party controls the U.S.…