I discovered the app Breathe2Relax (B2R) by luck. This app, available on both iPhone/iPad and Android devices, is produced by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology or T2. I occasionally use the app to gain calmness just within a few short minutes. Nevertheless, the smoothing effect lasts for a long time.
T2 is a Department of Defense organization, a component center of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. Its vision is to provide the Department of Defense world-class health care and optimized health through effective leveraging of behavioral science and technology. B2R is one of the mobile products.
It is well known that the prolonged stress can damage the body’s immune system and lead to heart disease, depression, anxiety, and many health problems. B2R is a portable stress management tool that provides simple instructions of diaphragmatic breathing. Once it is set, users can follow it to breathe in and out to achieve tranquility in a few minutes. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response. Breathing exercises can help with mood stabilization, anger control, anxiety management, better focus, and overall improved health. The tool has a friendly user interface. The app contains videos to explain the biology of breathing, how to breathe correctly, and biology of stress. There are six different themes, including rainforest, meadows, cosmos, beaches, flowers, and sunsets to choose from. You can turn on a breath metronome, visual prompts, audio prompts, and verbal instructions to make it as a guided breathing tool. You can preset the length of inhale time and exhale time and make adjustments as you breathe. Once your breathing techniques improve, you can lengthen your breathing time. The tool allows you to identify your stress level before and after breathing so you can see how helpful the tool is.
This tool is free and available to anyone. In general, I enjoy this tool very much, but I would use it more frequently as a guided meditation tool if the breathing cycle selections were not limited to 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16.
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