Lower your stress and reduce your anxiety with Breathe2Relax. Initially designed for the military community but beneficial for use by anyone, the relaxation app trains you on the “belly breathing” technique that has proven benefits for your overall mental health. Use the app’s breathing exercises to learn and practice the breathing technique on your own or as part of a stress management program supervised by your health care provider.



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  • Lowers stress
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Increases energy reserve
  • Controls anger
  • Stabilizes mood
  • Focuses the mind
  • Improves overall mental health

Key Features

  • Step-by-step guide to the breathing technique
  • Graphics, animation, narration and videos to lead you through breathing exercises
  • User-adjusted stress-level scale with touchscreen functionality


How It Lowers Stress

Breathing deeply with the diaphragm (“belly breathing”), rather than shallowly with the chest, has proven benefits. Diaphragmatic breathing delivers a rich supply of oxygen to your blood, building up an energy reserve that signals your body to relax. The controlled breathing also helps you downshift to a calmer state after a surge in adrenaline and stress hormones has activated your fight-or-flight response.

But proper and consistent diaphragmatic breathing takes practice. With the Breathe2Relax app on your phone or tablet, you can practice breathing wherever you are. With enough practice, you’ll be able to make diaphragmatic breathing and its benefits part of your everyday life.


Where to Get Breathe2Relax

iTunes Store for the iPhone or iPad
Google Play for Android devices


Related Relaxation Apps for Military Members and Veterans

Virtual Hope Box
Mindfulness Coach
T2 Mood Tracker



What is the purpose of Breathe2Relax?

Breathe2Relax was developed to teach a skill called diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes called “belly breathing.” This kind of breathing has been taught for centuries as a way of turning on the body's relaxation response. This app allows you to learn and practice this skill on your own or as part of a stress management program supervised by your health care professional.

Can I use diaphragmatic breathing to help during very stressful situations?

Yes, diaphragmatic breathing can be useful during highly stressful situations, but it’s important to understand that it is not an immediate antidote to high stress. Diaphragmatic breathing will not immediately slow a racing heart or filter adrenaline from your system. Many people make the mistake of trying to use diaphragmatic breathing only during times of high stress, and when they don’t feel immediately better, they conclude that it doesn’t help. Like any stress management skill, diaphragmatic breathing requires practice and regular use.

Am I supposed to close my eyes if I feel more relaxed that way?

During the initial learning process, it’s best to keep your eyes open so you can watch your stomach as you practice breathing from your diaphragm. You’ll want to see your belly rise and your chest stay motionless as you breathe. After you’re confident that you have mastered the skill, you can certainly close your eyes if it helps you to relax. Remember, though, that the best results will occur when you develop the habit of belly breathing as you go through everyday life — walking, driving, watching TV, etc.

How often should I practice?

Practice until you master the technique. One of the advantages of having this information on your mobile device is that practice opportunities are available anytime you have your phone with you.

Can I use headphones?

Yes, as long as they are comfortable. The audio instructions are important as you begin to practice this skill.

Do I have to practice lying down? What if I want to use this out in public?

Practicing while you are lying down isn’t necessary to learn this skill. If you have difficulty breathing from your belly at first, lying down with a book on your stomach — so you can watch it rise and fall as you breathe — can help make sure you are practicing the skill correctly. As you get more comfortable with the skill, practice it routinely during your daily activities. The goal is to make this your natural way of breathing.

How can I slow down/speed up the pace of the breathing exercises?

In the Practice area of the app, you can use the “shorten” or “lengthen” buttons to change the pace of the breathing exercise to match a pace that is comfortable for you. You can also set a pace for inhaling and exhaling by going to Settings > Cycle Settings and following the instructions for using your natural breathing cycle as the basis of the practice settings. You can also change the number of practice cycles in the Practice exercise from the default setting of 16 cycles.

Are there any cautions I should be aware of regarding diaphragmatic breathing?

For people with lung problems or those who have a weak diaphragm, this exercise might be tiring at first. Be sure not to overly strain or injure yourself and stop if you begin to feel discomfort. If you have serious pulmonary issues, consult a doctor before attempting diaphragmatic breathing.