T2 How2: Breathe2Relax

In a previous article, I discussed how to use our T2 Mood Tracker app in a clinical setting. This week, I want to focus on another of our popular apps, Breathe2Relax.

What it is

Breathe2Relax (B2R) is an app designed to help people learn an increasingly common skill in therapy – diaphragmatic breathing. When we focus on taking slow, deep breaths using our diaphragm to do most of the work, rather than our upper chest, it can activate our autonomic nervous system and lead to reduced stress and anxiety.

Normally, teaching this technique takes place over multiple sessions. But now, with B2R, more time in session can be spent talking about other concerns, and patients have a tool that they can use on-the-go.

How to use it

B2R is an excellent tool because many behavioral health professionals are already trained on how to teach and use diaphragmatic breathing. One of the best parts of B2R is that it not only can help with practicing the technique, but it also contains explanatory videos that demonstrate the entire process of diaphragmatic breathing. One way to use the app is to spend some time teaching patients the technique and assign the app for practicing at home. Or, you could simply tell patients to download the app and check in to see if they are having any problems using it.

Once someone learns diaphragmatic breathing, they can continue to use the app as a coach or stop using it all together. In fact, B2R is the kind of app that we hope users won’t need forever. Once they learn the skill, all it will take is regular practice to keep it up.

Why not head on over and add Breathe2Relax to your toolkit today?!

David Cooper, Psy.D. is a psychologist and Mobile Applications Lead at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2).

The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


Read other posts by Dr. David Cooper