Take a deep breath. Pause for a second or two. Exhale slowly. Do the same exercise a few times. You’ve done your nervous system a great favor, and many studies have shown that. Focused breathing is the one “Super Stress Buster” that evokes the relaxation response that the American Institute of Stress widely recommends as useful for everyone, even kids. Separate research has also shown that slow controlled breathing is associated with lower blood pressure and heart rate.