FAQ: Why Does My Apple Watch Keep Telling Me to Breathe? Can It Stop?

Apple Watch Breathe Credit: Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock
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If you own an Apple Watch, you may have wondered why the wearable keeps telling you to breathe all of the time.

We’re talking about Breathe notifications, which are built-into the watchOS ecosystem and serve as reminders to open up the Breathe app and perform a relaxing deep breathing session.

Deep breathing techniques and mindfulness meditation are science-proven ways to reduce stress, alongside a myriad of other benefits.

On the other hand, getting constant notifications bugging you to “relax and focus on your breathing” may be downright annoying for many users. Here’s how Breathe notifications work and how you can turn them off.

How Breathe Notifications Work

  • By default, the Apple Watch will send you a Breathe notification periodically throughout your day.
  • watchOS will automatically reschedule breathe notifications if you’re moving or exercising, and the number of notifications you get per day can be manually set.

Are Breathe Notifications Random?

But many users think the timing of the Breathe notifications isn’t random. Some Apple Watch users theorize that the Breathe app analyzes your heart rate, breathing patterns or activity to decide when to send you certain notifications.

This may not happen for all the Breathe reminders you get throughout the day, but there’s quite a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that it happens for at least some of them.

One Reddit user said that her Apple Watch only sends a breathe notification when she’s “angry or on high alert about something.” Another commenter theorizes that it sends notifications when you are stationary but have a high heart rate.

Similar reports and be found on Twitter, where users claim that watchOS will tap them and remind them to breathe much more when they’re particularly stressed out.

That is, of course, just speculation. And it could just be good-but-coincidental timing on the part of watchOS. There isn’t any conclusive evidence to prove that Breathe is tied to stress (or to disprove that idea, for that matter).

Apple, for its part, hasn’t publicly acknowledged that Breathe notifications are based on any metric like heart rate or activity.

How to Turn Breathe Notifications Off

Whether you’re annoyed by Breathe reminders or you actually want them to appear more frequently, Apple has quite a few tweakable options related to the feature.

  1. Just go to the Watch app on your iOS device, scroll down and tap on the Breathe app.
  2. By default, reminders are enabled. But you can choose to turn Notifications Off or send them to Notification Center.
  3. You can also change the number of Breathe Reminders you get, up to 10 times a day. If you’d like a single day without a Breathe reminder, just tap the Mute for today toggle. (It’ll toggle itself back off after the day is over.)

You can also change the behavior of notifications, your breathing rate, and the prominence of the reminder’s haptics in this section.

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