Finding Calm in 60 Seconds or Less

Life has not slowed down. And while we’re big proponents of taking breaks, we know that’s not always possible. So, we’ve created a list of our go-to breathing techniques that take less than 1 minute to feel the relaxing results.

Box Breathing

This exercise typically takes about 32 seconds and can help you feel more focused, centered, and relaxed. As you breathe, imagine yourself drawing a square in your mind until it’s completed. Repeat as many times as you need.

  1. Stop everything you are doing and close your eyes.
  1. Inhale to the count of 4.
  1.  Hold your breath to the count of 4.
  1.  Exhale to the count of 4.
  1.  Hold the exhale to the count of 4.

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

Since it requires no equipment and can be done relatively quickly, this is a great breathing exercise for when you’re on-the-go.

This is a simple exercise for when you feel stress building up inside you since it promotes relaxation. It also helps with sleep management and can reduce anxiety.

Below are the steps to the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, or you can watch this short video from the pioneer of the method, Dr. Andrew Weil for a guided practice.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of 8. This is one breath.
  • Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of 4 breaths

If this is too challenging for you, start out with the following breathing ratios:

  • breathe in through the nose for 2 seconds
  • hold the breath for a count of 3.5 seconds
  • exhale through the mouth for 4 seconds

Breathe Bubble from Calm

Catch your breath or find quick relaxation with this 30-second guided breathing exercise.

Lastly, UHS Berkeley recommends laughter because it can stimulate circulation, soothe tension, and increase endorphins that produce a relaxed feeling.

Not Ready to Go it Alone?

Check out these guided breathing exercise apps to help you along your journey:


This app helps you learn the basics of meditation and can help with finding a sense of calmness, wellness, and balance in your life.


This app allows you to have complete control over your breath work. You can adjust the length of your practice and how much of each breathing technique you want to incorporate into your meditation.


This app is designed to learn how to control your breaths during meditation.

The Well Club

Medical Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Asleep in 60 Seconds, Xavier Bloomer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz4G31LGyog

Breathing Exercises, Berkeley: https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/breathing_exercises_0.pdf