Breathing exercises are an easy method of mindful meditation which anyone can practice, and to do so regularly can have beneficial results to the body and state of mind. The objective of the project is to explore the beneficial use of technology to encourage the mindful practice of breathing exercises, using a visual animation as a guide to pace the breath.
Xhale is a mobile application prototype promoting the practice of breathing exercises, with particular focus on abdominal deep breathing. This technique of breathing activates the autonomic nervous system that regulates the body's functions. The autonomic nervous system is divided into two main divisions, the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the Parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) The Parasympathetic is stimulated with the exhale, therefore, the visual breathing exercise concentrates on a longer exhale to trigger the PSN resulting in a relaxed sensation to the body and mind. Hence the applications name. The app is not a tool to help people that suffer from anxiety, but to help and encourage anyone to practice deep abdominal breathing, and to prepare them for potential stressful moments.