Mindful Breathing with Garmin

Whether you want to increase awareness, reduce stress, improve mental sharpness, boost work performance or prepare for sleep, breathwork — or mindful breathing — can help.

If you have a vívoactive 4, vívoactive 4S or Venu smartwatch, you can use the Breathwork activity to practice three different breathing techniques — tranquility, coherence, and relax and focus. Here’s what you can expect with each technique:

This is a 10-minute activity that puts you in a ready state for sleep. It slowly builds up until you can inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.

This 15-minute activity should help you feel balanced and calm, rather than excited or overly relaxed. You will gradually slow down your breathing until you can achieve an even 6-second inhale and 6-second exhale.

Relax and Focus
This is another 15-minute activity, meant to put you in state of focus and concentration without stress. Sometimes called “Box Breathing” or “Fourfold Breath,” this technique helps you work toward a “4:4:4:4” breathing pattern — 4-second inhale, 4-second hold, 4-second exhale, 4-second hold.

There is also a 5-minute version of this activity, which is suggested when your watch detects unusually high stress spikes and gives you a Relax Reminder alert.

When you finish, your watch will display the duration of, average heart rate during and change in stress from your breathwork activity. You can also review each activity in Garmin Connect to see graphs of your respiration rate, stress and heart rate during the session.

If you feel awkward at first, don’t give up. As you get accustomed to the patterns and learn to control your breathing better, you’ll start noticing the benefits more and more. Like any other exercise, it takes practice. But unlike many exercises, you don’t need any equipment or lessons. Just a quiet space … and maybe a pillow.