How humming reduces stress

Humming to Reduce Anxiety~ How Bhramari Pranayama can Help

In Lifestyle, Musicby Amelia Hyde




Driving home from Olympia the other day I heard a short clip on the radio that caught my attention.   A radio host on  Sunny 102.1  mentioned that humming reduces anxiety and stress. Huh.. I rarely hum. In fact, I don’t think I ever do. I am constantly singing, or La la la-ing. But never do I hum.  This was something I have never heard of, so I needed to look into it.

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Music has been a big part of my life since I can remember.  From singing to kids and providing music therapy, the benefits are endless.  So when I read that humming releases endorphins, ( that’s your natural feel-good stuff your body makes) I could not believe I was just now finding this out. However, I was a little skeptical.


What Does Humming do Exactly?


I read that humming could help your heart, lower stress levels and also clears your sinuses. Thus reducing your risk for heart attack, stroke, and sinusitis. I was really hoping to find some studies that actually prove this theory. I did find a couple of articles but was really hoping to find out more. In this particular article on, the author stated the same information, claiming that “humming” can decrease stress and anxiety as well as many other health benefits.


I did find that there is an actual breathing exercise used in Yoga that is a light humming technique. This is called Bhramari Pranayama     Studies showed incredible health benefits if done properly. You can read the full study  on

Definition: the act of making a light humming sound while practicing pranayama, (or yogic breathing)

Bhramari is a Sanskrit word derived from bhramar, which means “humming black bee.”

This pranayama (the formal practice of controlling the breath)is practiced in a comfortable seated position such as lotus pose. In a four or six count breathing pattern, the yogi makes a humming sound similar to the buzz of a bee during the exhale of the breath. Once the sound on the exhale is mastered, a sound can also be attempted during the inhale.


Humming a tune  VS  Bhramari Pranayama  


 So I have been humming for a couple days now off and on. I have suffered from OCD ( obsessive-compulsive disorder) and anxiety for years. I am always looking for natural ways to relieve stress. Trying this with an open mind I didn’t particularly care for it. Perhaps because I am a singer and I like to sing words, or maybe I get bored too easy. Not really sure.  I didn’t notice any amazing results as stated in other bloggers posts. And I  didn’t feel any anxiety relief or even feel good afterward.  I kinda felt silly, to be honest with you.


Yesterday I found out about Bhramari Pranayama   .  This is actually considered a form of meditation. With my eyes closed, I focused on controlling my breathing.  I did this sitting in my car and also standing in the kitchen. I was really trying to see if this is something that can work anywhere when I am feeling stressed or anxious. The difference is that I wasn’t just humming a tune. I was focused directly on my breathing and the slow humming vibration. Within 15 seconds My heart rate seemed to slow down and I felt calm.  This is completely different than just humming a tune.  I was unsure if I was doing this properly, and I am sure it will take a while to master this technique.  I was surprised how something so simple can really improve the way I feel.


In conclusion, this is something I will share with my children in hopes we can all benefit from this.


I am sure that so many others will have a different experience than I did. I take heart medication for a rapid heartbeat, and my stress levels can easily get elevated.  Because of this, it can be difficult for me to calm down at times.

For more information on this topic here are the sources of this article

I would love to hear from you! Comment below with your thoughts and experiences.

Does humming help you? How do you benefit from this?


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