One of the more interesting apps on my Apple Watch is the Breathe App, which buzzes a couple of times per day and simply reminds me to take deep, slow breaths for a minute. Granted, when it buzzes during a particularly stressful moment, like rushing to catch an airplane, I have been known to curse at it, but I do appreciate that it reminds me to simply stop for a minute and fill my lungs with oxygen. That won’t fix everything, but it helps calm me and remind me that what I’m stressed about at that moment, is not the end of the world.
“Intentional deep breathing improves mental health by relaxing both the body and the mind. Taking slow, deep breaths increases oxygen in our bloodstream and thus in our brain. Deep breathing signals the parasympathetic nervous system to activate and thus induce relaxation throughout the body. When we pause to breathe deeply, our heart rate slows and our blood pressure decreases. All of this positive activity increases our well-being.”