I Wonder If I Can Have a Few Dozen of These Delivered Before Friday…

This coming Friday will be the second exam of the semester for my students.

As you might imagine, students are starting to get a bit anxious, some more than others.

That’s why I was so intrigued when I read about this device that could help lower a student’s anxiety.

The device?

A breathing cushion.

Researchers from the University of Bristol say hugging the cushion relieved the symptoms of stress in students before taking major tests. It was effective as meditation techniques, offering hope of settling young people down who may be stressing over their schoolwork. A growing body of evidence highlights the potential of neuroscientific wearables known as TouchPoints. They are clinically proven to provide fast relief from stress and improve sleep and focus.

Dr. Haynes and colleagues from the University of Bristol initially built several prototypes that simulated different sensations, including breathing, purring, and heartbeats. Each took the form of a soft, huggable cushion that is both intuitive and inviting. Focus groups identified the “breathing” version as being the most pleasant and calming.

The researchers then made a larger, mechanical cushion and recruited 129 volunteers for an experiment involving a mathematics test. Using questionnaires, study authors found those using the cushion were less anxious pre-test than peers who did not. In addition,  Dr. Haynes noted that “conducting a formal psychological study found hugging the cushion had a similar effect as a breathing meditation in alleviating students’ anxiety when anticipating a test.”

So these breathing cushions seem like something colleges should be ordering by the hundreds, if not the thousands.

Combine these cushions with Comfort Caring Canines, and students might be so relaxed, they might fall asleep during the exam…

86 thoughts on “I Wonder If I Can Have a Few Dozen of These Delivered Before Friday…

      1. A breathing and talking pillow? As much as I like quotes I wouldn’t find inspiring!
        I remember when my kids were little. There was a battery operated dog that you could get. A sleeping dog that looked real and it breathed. Was freaky to me!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Students these days have it sooo easy. They are graded on a curve, and google does all their research. They don’t even have to show up for class or take notes. its all online. In my day we had to walk five miles to class through knee deep snow, share textbooks (if there were any), check our own spelling, and research was done by taking your butt to a place called a library by reading things called books! Students today have no idea what real stress is. etc., etc… 😄🤣😊


  2. everyone has their way to get up for the game, or wind it down, as the case may be. pillows seem a pretty harmless way to ease into most anything.


  3. The purpose of the pillows is to help one find their way into a meditative state that helps reduce stress. In fact, the calm produced by meditation seems to be the benchmark for success in the study. Focusing on breathing is a tried-and-true method of reaching this state, so I can imagine these pillows help greatly in that regard. Oh, and somebody wake up Geoff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. the study does offer a big shout out to meditation as a great way to reduce stress.

      and Geoff probably hasn’t slept for days, he’s been too busy dealing with the Martians…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I know in high school, hugging my purring cat helped.
    But you just can’t go out and buy a kitten or cat anymore, it’s an adoption and we failed the test because my (autistic) son (who has anxiety) let her out of the petting room at PetSmart–where I quickly retrieved her. But still we were told: “NO CAT FOR YOU!”

    That was a year ago and I’m still mad about it. I do think a purring kitty would help our whole family manage our anxieties.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is so interesting, Jim. I immediately thought, children already know this instinctively. That’s why they hug their lovies. We can learn a lot from children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually I remember a Pew Foundation survey quoted I think on Wait, Wait, Don’t tell me about the number of adults that sleep with stuffed animals … and it was quite high. Many nights I could use one! But it’s like the cat we wanted but were denied (a sweet gray tabby, just the right size/age … no longer a kitten because she’d had kittens and everyone fell in love with the cuter kittens and left the mother… which was who we grew attached to, paid the application fee to “rescue” but then were denied. Sigh. It felt like autism discrimination. The whole thing drained me of energy to look for another one at the time. I will rethink but it’s been a busy year to take on a new pet search… and it may be a therapy dog instead.

      But I do know that have to fall in love with your chosen pet (or even stuffed animal!) for 1) to do all the labors of love involved and 2) for it to be a true comfort to you and your family.

      It’s on my list for us to have an animal to love by next Christmas. Which sound far away, but time flies. And the reason this is the year is that my son turns 22 and ages out of school. Not sure what his future holds but I know we will need more social stimulation than we now have (which may mean a dog as a social bridge…even tho I am a cat person and don’t know how to have a dog. So it is not so simple as just picking one to rescue, we literally have to be “approved” to adopt and we definitely need to fall in love. We’ve pet sat before and I know the right fit is really important or it adds to the stress and anxiety instead of mitigating it. (We just can’t do a yappy dog…that’s why it might be a therapy dog and demand exceeds supply…)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree that it seems like discrimination.

        We have had a dog (different ones) over the past 30 years or so.

        It is nice having someone so non-judgmental around, and always happy to see you…

        Best of luck in your search…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Somehow I missed this post. Now I know what you were talking about, concerning breathing cushions. Personally, I think breathing is a good idea. It’s never failed me. I think if I were to stop breathing, I wouldn’t do well at all on a test.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They call it a breathing cushion, I call it a cuddle pillow 🙂 hehe… I’ve started a habit in the morning, too, where I take my husbands foam pillow (it’s about 5lbs) and I place it on top of my chest (I guess sort of the way you would a weighted blanket on top of you (we don’t have a weighted blanket unfortunately) and I find that helps me fall back asleep soundly as well… hmmm interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I assume your husband is already up when you take his pillow 🙂

      I’ve heard good things about thos weighted blankets; seems like they would mkae you hot though.

      and imagine of that foam pillow of yours could mimic someone’s breathing – you might sleep all day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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