I’m someone who runs at a pretty fast clip. When the Apple Watch first came out and everyone was touting its health benefits, I didn’t think that a device on my wrist was going to help remind me to walk, stand1 or exercise more.

I recently installed the watchOS 3 beta and, admittedly, it hasn’t been a bed of roses. I’m occasionally experiencing some battery issues and other things, but that’s not important. It’s a beta product, so no one is to blame for any problems that I experience except for me. Apple’s new Breathe app, however, has made all of this worthwhile.

I’ve experimented with a few different types of mindfulness exercises throughout my life, most regularly simple breath counting. In the past when I would stop to breathe I would often get distracted with thoughts about the breathing activity itself. Have I gone long enough yet? Do I have other things to do? Am I wasting time that I should be spending on other stuff?

‘Breathe’ Eliminates The Stress About Breathing

watchOS 3’s new Breathe app eliminates all the stress one might spend wondering how long to breathe in the same way the GPS in my car eliminates the stress of wondering how long it’ll take me to get home even though I already know the route. Breathe lets you set how many minutes you want to breathe in any given session, and also lets you set the pace of your breathing.2

watchOS 3's new Breathe app, now in beta

Breathe’s simple, elegant interface makes it easy to start down the path to mindfulness.

Once you tell Breathe to start, it gently offers both visual and haptic guides for each breath. It’s just enough of a coach that it keeps me focused on my breathing and nothing else. And since I know it’ll stop when I’ve told it to stop, I don’t experience any of the, “is it over yet?” stress.

I’ve only had Breathe on my Apple Watch for a few days, but I’m already noticing a difference in my own personal stress level, especially my interactions – and patience – with others. I can’t wait to see where this goes but, with the Breathe app, I think I’ll find that waiting a little bit easier.

  1. I think we all learned very quickly that the Apple Watch would help us stand more, even to the point of reminding me to stand when I was already standing at my desk! «
  2. The default is 7 breaths per minute, but I found slowing this down to 5 was the right pace for me. «

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Lee Dronick

Since January my Apple  helped me lose over 25 lbs and a number of inches around the waist.