How to use the heart coherence breathing exercise to relieve stress

The cardiac (heart) coherence breathing exercise is widely used at bio-feedback trainings. Its a reliable technique to relieve stress. Although it is simple, it is highly effective and has already helped thousands to cope with life’s most difficult situations.
It works especially well for people who don’t like the somber voices of guided meditations. You should try it, especially if other relaxation techniques have failed.

If you need a quick-fix to cope with high stress situations, you might also want to take a look at the slow paced breathing exercise.

Use Breath Ball to get the best results from this tutorial. You can find it free of charge at:

How to do the heart (cardiac) coherence breathing exercise:

Start the cardiac coherence breathing exercise in Breath Ball. The app will display an animation similar to the one below:

Now breathe in the rhythm of the ball:

  • Inhale into your belly for five seconds.
  • Exhale for another five seconds.
  • Repeat for three to five minutes.
    Please mind the following:
    • Avoid breathing like a robot, or like you’re scuba diving.
    • Breathe naturally, as you usually do, just slower.

After three to five minutes, you‘ll notice a meditative trance. It feels like a deep relaxation, inner calm, and increased awareness. This meditative trace is called coherence.

The most important thing is to slow down to 6 breaths per minute while still breathing naturally.

Now, go ahead and try it for yourself. Do a three minutes cardiac coherence breathing session and see how it makes you feel.

In the unlikely case that you’re not feeling better after the exercise, please read How stress happens and what you can do about it and How to properly breathe to get calm. An understanding about your body’s nervous system, paired with some stories that make it easy to grasp, usually helps.

If you‘re still having difficulties afterwards, please get in touch. Your feedback will help us to improve Breath Ball and this tutorial.

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