How to Use Breathing to Calm Your Mind

Did you know that learning to control your breathing calms your brain? Science shows that deep breathing benefits both physical and mental fitness. Deep breathing alleviates stress, improves confidence, balances your mental state, and so much more.

1. Why Breathing the Right Way Matters

Research shows that when you take a deep breath, you’re triggering neurons in your brain that tell your body it’s time to relax. Isn’t that powerful? And you’re the one who has the power! You have the ability to control your brain simply by breathing correctly.

In order to exercise this control, you must first learn how to breathe in a way that tells your brain how to access your calm state. When you’re in control of your breathing, you’re in control of your thinking and emotions. Being mentally fit requires you to think clearly and respond to situations rationally. This technique could give your life the mental edge you need for things to finally “click.”

2. Using  the Tracy Alston Breathe IN, Mind ON as a Guide

Not sure how to start breathing correctly? Download the Breathe IN, Mind ON app from to begin your mental fitness breathing journey. The specific breathing techniques that benefit your brain performance might be different from the techniques that benefit someone else’s mental performance. With the Breathe IN, Mind ON app, you learn to identify the breathing patterns that work well for you.

The app gives you the ability to customize your breathing settings, set reminders and increase your self-awareness by giving you questions to ask yourself, such as:

  • How am I feeling in my mind?
  • Are my thoughts racing?
  • Are my emotions controlling me?
  • Do I feel calm?
  • How am I feeling in my body?
  • Is my body tense?
  • Do I feel anxious?
  • Do I feel flexible and relaxed?

3. Maintaining a Breathing Routine

You can also use the app to track your progress. Breathing like this might be difficult at first, but it can only get better with practice. You can monitor the times when you’re feeling your best and create good breathing habits. Learn to set time aside just to focus on your breathing exercises. Try these breathing exercises every day for a week. Make sure you practice your breathing at least three times a day for best results. You might try scheduling your breathing first thing in the morning, right before you go to bed, and in the middle of the day as a nice break.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and observations on your breathing journey after you’ve tried it out for a week. What differences have you noticed in your mental performance? Get comfortable with this practice and work on it daily. This will provide you with a better understanding of yourself and unlock the best parts of you!

Share your progress with the Mental Fitness Matters community and join the conversation.

About Tracy Alston

Tracy Alston is an experienced mental performance coach. She is the founder and owner of Mental Edge Fitness Solutions, Inc. It incorporates science based services and cutting edge neuroscience technologies to enhance the overall mental fitness of our clients. And she the founder and owner of New Mentality, P.C., a Neurofeedback, Biofeedback and counseling facility in Mooresville, North Carolina.

She is a licensed professional counselor, a certified clinical trauma professional and she’s board certified in biofeedback and Neurofeedback by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) who draws on her extensive training as well as her own athletic experience to help her clients. She is a member of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, the Southeast Biofeedback and Clinical Neuroscience Association, the International Association of Trauma Professionals, North Carolina Counselors and a member of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina.
She is an adjunct professor of psychology at Mitchell Community College in Statesville, North Carolina and a freelance journalist for Feeling Good magazine. Alston has also trained with one of the leading researchers and pioneers in the field of Neurofeedback. Alston is also a Certified Reiki Level II practitioner. Alston received her mentorship and training at the Reiki Education and Research Institute of Charlotte, N.C. with Certified Reiki Masters Bill Coyer and Mei-Yin Hung.

A graduate of Wake Forest University, Alston earned top academic honors and a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. She attended Wake Forest on a full athletic scholarship, playing four years in the Atlantic Coast Conference as a shooting guard and small forward on the Wake Forest women’s basketball team. During her basketball career, she received the Distinguished All ACC-Defender award. She also holds a dual master’s degree in community agency counseling with school licensure from Lenoir-Rhyne University, where she also served as assistant women’s basketball coach.

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