You probably don’t think you need help to breathe. For most of us, it happens automatically. No effort needed. Yet Breathe in is an app specifically designed to do just that. It asks you to take a minute's break and teaches you how to breathe effectively in that time.
As it turns out, we’re not all that good at this automatic bodily function we take for granted. And this truth has spawned a whole movement of yoga workshops, self-help courses and technology aimed at encouraging better breathing.
Breathe in taps into this trend. Noticing that our daily stresses can lead us into a cycle of shallow and short breaths, it offers five breathing sessions each with their own function. Equal Breathing (breathing in for four counts and out for four counts) is designed to reduce stress. Abdominal Breathing strengthens the diaphragm (your breathing muscle).
The 4-7-8 routine, which has been widely reported to help insomniacs to sleep, involves holding in the breath for seven seconds in each breath cycle (in for four, hold for seven, out for eight). Pursed lip breathing should combat shortness of breath and Calming Breath (which prioritises a very regular breath) is supposed to reduce anxiety.
The great news is that using Breathe in doesn’t involve hours of commitment from you. After all, nothing that asks you for yet another hour of your busy day is going to reduce your stress. So, each session (save for the 4-7-8 which has no time limit) lasts just one minute. So, because the app makes it so easy to breathe, you can breathe easy.