Do you know how to calm yourself down from stress? If not, you should consider using Breathe2Relax. Because Breathe2Relax is a free app that quickly relieve your stress by teaching you to do breathing exercise. In this post, I’m going to first explain briefly why breathing exercise can quickly reduce stress. Then, I will talk about what Breathe2Relax is and how to use it.
I think this post is useful for you. Because sometimes you want to quickly become less stressed so as to focus on important matters like a job interview. If you’re stressed and can’t sleep well due to your important matters, you may consider using another free app called Pzizz to help you. You can read my previous post about Pzizz for more information.
Breathing exercise can quickly relieve your stress and here’s why
Yes, we all know how to breathe. But, some of you may not know to breathe correctly so as to be calm down. The type of breathing exercise that helps with stress fast is diaphragmatic breathing, as known as deep breathing.
Generally, the type of breathing we usually do every day is shallow breathing. When we breathe, we don’t want our lower bellies to rise and like to keep our stomach flat. Because this looks handsome or beautiful. So, we often control our stomach muscle to keep it flat. But by doing this the air we breathe in can’t fully fill our lungs. And this is called shallow breathing.
Shallow breathing can cause us stressed and anxious. According to Harvard Medical School, if we do shallow breathing, our lungs can’t fully get oxygenated air, which can make us feel “short of breath and anxious”. In other words, this will make us more stressed if we’re already under pressure.
In order to quickly calm yourself down from stress, you should do deep breathing instead. As stated by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine at the US, deep breathing can “counteract the fight or flight response symptoms that are often associated with anxiety”, which includes “increased heartbeat, respiration, blood pressure, muscle tension, and gastric discomfort” (1). This is because deep breathing can cause full oxygen exchange in your lung and thus slow your heartbeat and lower your blood pressure, according to Harvard Medical School.
Don’t know how to do deep breathing? Here’s the kicker: Breathe2Relax
You may wonder how to do deep breathing so as to calm yourself down quickly. To be honest, it’s not difficult to do it. But, if you want some guidances and record your stress level from time to time, then Breathe2Relax will be suitable for you.
Breathe2Relax is a free app that is available on both Apple IOS system and Android system. It helps you to do deep breathing by giving you instructions. The only thing you need to do is to turn on your phone’s speaker and follow the instructions. You can also record your stress level both before and after the deep breathing. So, you can see if your stress level increase or decrease from time to time.
Here’s how you use Breathe2Relax to reduce stress
When you open the app, you’re going to see the below screen. This is the main page and you can adjust your setting first before using the app. I suggest you personalize your app first by tapping “personalize.
In here, you can personalize your app by selecting different scenery and background music. The selected scenery and music will appear when you’re doing deep breathing. You can also adjust the lengths of both inhale and exhale when doing deep breathing. The default lengths are 7 seconds.
You can also change other settings like preventing screen timeout by tapping icons at top right corner on the main page. I suggest you check whether the settings are fine to you before doing deep breathing. Because this will give you a better experience.
If you’re ready, you can tap “BREATHE” on the main page. After that, you will see the below screen. In here, you can record your stress level before doing deep breathing by moving the red button left or right. Then, you can tap “NEXT” to proceed.
If you’re ready to do the breathing, then tap “START”.
You will then hear a female voiceover teaching you how to do deep breathing. It’s very simple. You just need to breathe in the air accordingly based on the instructions from both the voiceover and the screen. In here, you will also notice how long you should breathe in. If you find that you don’t like how long or short you breathe in, you can always change the duration of your inhale down below the screen. If you select different scenery and background music before, you will also see the scenery and listen to the selected music.
When the level of the meter reaches maximum height, you will then be reminded to breathe out the air accordingly by the voiceover. You can also change the duration of your exhaling.
After repeating inhale and exhale 16 times, you will then finish your deep breathing. If you want some more, you can restart the whole process. If not, you can proceed.
After finishing your deep breathing, you will be asked to record your current stress level again.
After that, you will see a graph recording your stress level. The yellow point represents your stress level before doing deep breathing while the sky blue one represents the stress level after doing it. If you keep using this app, your stress level will also be tracked every time you use it. This is good for you. Because you can know how your stress level fluctuate and whether the deep breathing can reduce your stress effectively.
Then you will see the main page again. If you want to know more about the biology of stress, deep breathing and effects of stress on the body, you can either read or watch the related articles or videos by tapping “LEARN”.
Deep breathing is very useful for those who need to calm down quickly from stress. I sometimes do this type of breathing when I’m stressed. Because ever time I do it I feel relaxed and I can concentrate important matters like job interviews. That’s why I recommend this free app to you!
One thing that I like the app most is it can record your stress level. So, you can always check how your stress level is recently and whether you need more deep breathing. If you want some more ways to check your stress level, you can read my previous post about measuring your stress level.
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about my post or want to leave your own personal opinion, leave a comment below. Here is the download link of Breathe2Relax:
1 Paul G, Elam B, Verhulst SJ. A longitudinal study of students’ perceptions of using deep breathing meditation to reduce testing stresses. Teaching and learning in medicine. 2007 Jun 19;19(3):287-92.