Whether you want to increase awareness, reduce stress, improve mental sharpness, improve performance at work or get ready for bed, breathing -- or mindful breathing -- can help.
There are three different breathing techniques you can practice -- calm, coherent, relaxed, and focused. Here's how each technique works:
This is an activity that will put you to sleep in 10 minutes. Slowly build up until you can inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.
This 15-minute activity will help you feel balanced and calm, rather than excited or overly relaxed. You will gradually slow down your breathing until you can reach an even 6-second inhale and 6-second exhale.
Relax and focus.
This is another 15-minute activity designed to keep you in a stress-free state of focus. Sometimes called "box breathing" or "quadruple breathing," this technique helps you develop a "4:4:4:4" breathing pattern -- inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds.
There is also a five-minute version of the event. It is recommended that your watch give you a relaxation alert when it detects an unusually high pressure peak.
When finished, your watch will display the duration, average heart rate and blood pressure changes, and your breathing activity. You can also view graphs of respiration rate, blood pressure and heart rate for each activity in the BP smartwatch.
If it feels awkward at first, don't give up. As you get used to this breathing pattern and learn to control your breathing better, you will begin to notice its benefits more and more. Like any other exercise, it takes practice. But unlike many sports, you don't need any equipment or lessons. Just a quiet place and a pillow.