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Meditation experts have long believed in the power of the breath for lasting calm and longevity, and now there’s some science behind it. A new study at Stanford recently identified 175 specific neurons located deep in the brainstem that form the relay between our autonomic breathing center and the areas of the brain responsible for attention, arousal, and panic. These neurons tell our brain whether or not to be anxious or calm, depending on the quality of our breaths. Shallow, fast breaths mean excitement or anxiety, while long, deep ones translate to calm and peace.