Hugging a pillow that mimics breathing could reduce anxiety

Prototype pillow contains an inflatable chamber that connects to an external pump and motor, enabling it to expand and deflate like human lungs

A huggable pillow that mimics breathing has reduced anxiety as effectively as guided meditation for people who were about to take a mathematics test.

Interactive tactile devices, such as Paro the cuddly seal robot, have previously been linked to reduced anxiety, potentially providing near-immediate relief without medication. To better understand the potential of these devices, Alice Haynes, now at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, and her colleagues developed a pillow prototype that expands and deflates like human lungs.