Take a deep breath, expanding your belly. Pause. Exhale slowly to the count of five. Repeat four times. Congratulations. You’ve just calmed your nervous system.

Controlled breathing, like what you just practiced, has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness, and boost your immune system.

“Breathing is massively practical,” says Belisa Vranich, a psychologist and author of the book “Breathe,” to be published in December. “It’s a meditation for people who can’t meditate.”

How to Breathe right
Breathe feature on Better Sleep app supports you breathe in the right way.

Take your phone and turn to Breath function on the Better Sleep: Relaxing Music app now.

If you have the time to learn only one technique, this is the one to try. In Coherent breathing, the goal is to breathe at a rate of five breaths per minute, which generally translates into inhaling and exhaling to the count of six.
Step 1: Sitting upright or lying down, place your hands on your belly.
Step 2: Slowly breathe in, expanding your belly, to the count of five.
Step 3: Pause.
Step 4: Slowly breathe out to the count of six.
Step 5: Work your way up to practicing this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes a day.