Tap into the ancient wisdom of the Apple Watch Breathe app

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Chill out with the Apple Watch Breathe app.
Chill out with the Apple Watch Breathe app.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

In today’s fast-paced, connected world, the demands on our time seem endless. We spend much of our day in a state of constant hyperactivity. Apple Watch and iPhone add to the pressure, with their endless notifications telling us what we should be doing, who we should be speaking to and where we should be going.

Fortunately, Apple also offers an oasis of calm that can help us slow down this frenetic pace. The Apple Watch Breathe app draws on the ancient wisdom of Buddhist monks and yogis who practice a technique called “resonant breathing.”

Luckily, you don’t need to be a master of meditation to use the Breathe app that comes built into your Apple Watch. With clever visuals and smart features, it will guide you through this time-honored method for relaxing your body and clearing your mind. It’s a surprisingly subtle and relaxing experience that you might really enjoy.

In this quick guide, we’ll take a look at the origins of the Breathe app, how it works, what the benefits of resonant breathing are, and how to take advantage of this calming tech. So take a deep breath and let’s get started.

PAUSE your iPhone for stress relief

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PAUSE is a guided meditation app that aims to get you to relax and refocus.
PAUSE is a guided meditation app that aims to get you to relax and refocus.
Photo: UsTwo

Stress is making our heads a scattered mess and among some of the many suggested remedies is forcing ourselves to unplug from our devices. But one idea actually assigns meditative properties to our iPhones.

A new app simply called Pause use interactive graphics and soothing sounds to concentrate the mind on the present with the goal of providing relaxation and renewed focus. The app invites the user to place a finger on a slowly pulsating splotch of color and follow it as it moves slowly on screen, rewarding you with pleasant sounds, like chirping birds.

Cleaning Up Your Messy iTunes Playlists Can Boost Your Brain Power [Interview]

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PLAYLIST-FINAL-BOOK-COVER-PHOTO-300DPI-fix

You might have suspected that the right music – whether it’s thrash metal or Mozart – keeps you more focused or relaxed.

Now a trio of brain researchers have Your Playlist Can Change Your Life. In the book’s 200-or so pages, they explain how to use specific playlists to alleviate anxiety, promote concentration, get happy or move into a flow state thanks to Brain Music Treatment or BMT.

If you can’t make it to New York for BMT therapy, for $9.99, you can also download a Common BMT File. Created from more than 2,000 people’s brain waves with the help of evidence-based BMT tech, they say it acts as a kind of aural “first-aid” before you get your own playlists together.

Intrigued (my current nightstand read is Mark Changizi’s excellent Harnessed about music and the brain), I talked to author Dr. Galina Mindlin about what playlists have the most impact, cleaning up your music collection and her current heavy rotations.