Publication Date

November 2007


College of Arts and Sciences


Psychology: Child/Adolescent Development

Primary Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental


Stress Reduction, College Females, Deep Breathing, Positive Imagery


Stress is steadily becoming a problem of epidemic proportions in American society. Diseases and other health problems that are a direct result of high, chronic stress levels are on the rise. As bad as they are, the physical effects of stress are not the only concern. There are also mental and emotional concerns to increased and continuous stress levels. It is therefore vitally important for people to learn effective methods for reducing stress. This study investigates two techniques done together, deep breathing and positive imagery, for their effectiveness in reducing stress and increasing coherence. The sample consisted of thirty 18-26 year-old female college students at Liberty University who volunteered and were randomly placed into either an experimental group or a control group. The hypothesis was that the techniques would increase coherence, which occurs when the heart and brain are perfectly synchronized, and thereby reduce stress. Results showed that the techniques effectively reduced low coherence levels and increased high coherence levels, indicating a reduction in stress.