Coherent Breathing is one of the best kept secrets in Health. Our unconscious breathing rate is a powerful indicator of the state of our nervous system, how stressed we are, and whether we're prone to anxiety.
In this article, I will explain how the Apple Watch can help you change your breathing rate to improve your well being, settle your nervous system and reduce anxiety and just five minutes.
First, let’s explore what Coherent Breathing is. Every day you breathe in and out without giving it much thought.
Whilst it’s true that breathing is an unconscious action. It’s also unique in that we can bring it under conscious control. coherent breathing takes advantage of this fact, by controlling our breath, we can affect our body in a positive way.
Our natural tendency is to breathe at a rate of two to three seconds per inhale and exhale, we naturally consume an amount of air that is proportional to the length of our breaths.
In coherent breathing, the goal is to extend the length of both the inhale and the exhale to around six seconds. This has been scientifically shown to activate the Vagus Nerve, which is effectively the brake on our nervous system. Even three breaths at this rate will slow heart rate and turn down anxious thoughts.
The breathe app on the Apple Watch was introduced back in the early days of the Apple Watch one and two, but it initially only had fixed breathing rates, so it wasn’t that great.
But nowadays, you can adjust it yourself. Just by heading into the watch app on your phone and scrolling down to the breathe app. There you’ll find a setting called breath rate. Change that to five breaths per minute, and you’re ready to go with coherent breathing.
Then just head to the apps on the Apple Watch and select breathe. You can adjust how long you want to breathe for up to five minutes.
I would always suggest that the maximum five minutes is a good place to start. Though even just a minute before or during a meeting will in my experience help you notice physiological and psychological changes.
These changes can last a couple of hours before your old habits of breathing which are in your neurology will kick in.
Why not try setting reminders for two or three times a day and see how you get on with regularly coherent breathing.
If you find this useful, you might fancy getting yourself a Heartmath Inner Balance, which is a biofeedback device with coherent breathing at its core.
And this will take your coherence to another level, head to heartmath.co.uk and use the code “hatsoncoach” to get 10% off this fantastic device.
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