My Nonna in Italy is about to turn 98 years old. She was never on a diet, she didn’t workout and she beat breast cancer in the early ’80s. One thing she did do though: she walked everywhere. That daily activity worked for her lifestyle and it was something she could do, on a daily basis, that was good for her body.
Nonna’s daily routine, and the ability to do things that are good for her with ease, always captured me. Unlike my Nonna, I spent most of my adult life trying to motivate myself to be more active, rather than actually being active. Usually, my motivation was an upcoming event or vacation. I would workout too hard, and eventually burn out. Then, I’d give it up until I found the “motivation” again a year later. Oh, the feeling of failure.
I knew I wasn’t alone though. This was the norm for most of the people around me: family, friends, co-workers. We’d even try to workout or diet together as “motivation buddies.” Nothing. Was. Sticking.
I started to ask myself, “How can we take care of ourselves in a way that integrates seamlessly into our busy and hectic lives?” Even more, I considered the people in my life who were facing physical injuries or illness. How were the current fitness and diet trends impacting them and their feelings towards daily physical and mental health?
In 2020, my husband, Varun Salvi, and I co-founded an app development company called Little By Little Labs.
Little By Little Labs develops apps to improve physical and mental wellness, but our true mission is in our name. Our apps allow users to take their wellness into their own hands, and at their own pace. We believe that optimal mental and physical health is achieved through consistency, but the truth is, life is not consistent. We offer apps that support unpredictable schedules, the ebbs and flows of motivation and even certain mental and physical challenges. We are always looking for ways to be more supportive and more inclusive as we build the Little By Little Labs community.
Our philosophy is “Little by little, that’s all it takes.” You just have to do something for your physical and mental health every day to reap the benefits long term. Not only does this create a healthier relationship to the body, but also to the inner self. If we learn to make promises to ourselves that we can keep, we can bypass feelings of failure and replace them with feelings of success.
In May 2021, we launched our first app, Breethr. Breethr was built to help people attain the various physical and mental health benefits of mindful breathing.
Breathing exercises can help with better sleep, reduced stress and anxiety and even intrusive thoughts. They can help you wake up in the morning and prepare for the day ahead. Having trouble concentrating? There’s a breathing exercises for that. Need to improve your lung health? You bet.
Some people are confused about why they would need Breethr. People often ask, “I am already breathing. Why do I need an app to show me how?”
The answer is pretty incredible: the lungs are the only internal organ that we can consciously control to affect other systems in our body. With Breethr, you are being guided through the most effective ways to harness this powerful tool to improve your mental and physical health.
When it comes to our health, we believe that physical and mental are intertwined. Stress management, sleep, physical activity, focus, getting your daily tasks done, self care, physical health…it’s all part of an interconnected web that comprises our bodies, lifestyles and overall happiness.
One of our “Breethrs”, called “Calm Down” was designed to help with both anxiety and anger as deep breathing has been shown to activate the vagus nerve and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Additionally, a consistent breathing routine can also assist with decreasing high blood pressure.
Breathing exercises have been considered an ancient practice by many cultures around the world but studies are now revealing the science behind their powerful effects. In 2020, Harvard Medical School published this article on using breathing exercises as a relaxation technique.
Breethr offers easy-to-do breathing exercises to help with a variety of everyday challenges. Unlike meditation, Breethrs are quick and don’t require the same amount of dedication to mastery.
Our library of breathing exercises covers the most essential exercises, even for beginners but it is growing! Additionally, 50% of the library is currently FREE. To unlock our Premium features, it’s only $23.99 for a full year or $2.99/month plus a 3 day trial.
In addition to offering breathing exercises, Breethr has a dynamic guidance system which includes voice instructions, beautiful graphics and haptic vibrations (for when you want to do Breethrs in a quiet setting but still close your eyes).
Breethr also makes it easy to keep up your breathing practice. Our scheduling and notification features were built with a customizable breathing cycle option so that users can complete their “to do list” even when they are short on time — or motivation. We have found that taking just 30 seconds to do a breathing exercise is still beneficial and keeps users feeling revitalized and accomplished.
We are so excited for the future. Every few weeks, we will be launching new breathing exercises in Breethr. Then, in a few months, we will be launching our second app — it’s the app that started it all! It just has taken us longer to build! 🤣
In the meantime, let’s do some mindful breathing.