The Wellness Project: Using the Breath in Stress Management - Individuals

Woman standing in front of a storefront.

Woman standing in front of a storefront. Photographer: Douglas Levere

Welcome to the Wellness Project where you will be taken on a journey to increase your knowledge and understanding of the mind-body connection and create a wellness plan that works for you. 

What will I get out of this course?

We are not here to tell you to just breathe and it will be okay. Yes, learning to breathe efficiently is important, but it is only a piece of the puzzle. Our goal is to help you recognize what mental health and wellness really is, when it’s time to reach out for help, and to reduce the stigma of mental health and mental health treatment from both the individual and organizational levels to create more compassionate and supportive home and working environments. We hope you will join us on this journey.  

Why does it matter?

Impact of Stress

  • Only 34% of US survey respondents report that their mental health is excellent (Gallup, 2020)
  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year (NAMI, 2021)
  • People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population. People with serious mental illness are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions. (NAMI, 2021)
  • Caregivers of adults with mental or emotional health issues spend an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care (NAMI, 2021)
  • Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide (NAMI, 2021)

Benefits of a Wellness Program

  • People with asthma, COPD, and heart failure can benefit from practicing breathing exercises. (Cuda, 2010)
  • Deep breathing elicits the relaxation response, a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional response to stress including decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing, and muscle tension. (The American Institute of Stress, 2012) 
  • Insomniac participants in a slow breathing exercises study improved their sleep, allowing them to fall asleep almost three times faster than normal, stay asleep longer, and fall back to sleep faster. (André, 2019)

This program is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. This program provides education and tools intended to improve overall wellbeing.

If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, there is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text a crisis counselor at 741741, or visit

Effective July 16, 2022, Lifeline will be using the designated three-digit code 988 instead of the 1-800-273-TALK (8255).