Woman with face to the sun uses deep breathing to relax


Breathe in and breathe out: The calming effects of deep breathing

How you breathe can make a difference in how you feel. When you are stressed, nervous, frightened, worried or angry, you may notice that your breathing gets low and fast. Your breath will come from higher up in your chest when you are upset. In calmer times, your breathing will be slower and deeper. Your breath will come more from your stomach and underneath your ribs.

You can learn to slow down your breathing, making each breath longer and deeper. This will calm the rest of your body and your mind. If you practice doing this you can become good at staying calm or return to feeling calm quickly in very stressful situations.

Breathing well is good for our bodies and can help us change negative things happening in our minds to more positive. In other words, we can learn ways to use our bodies to help us feel better in our minds. 

Even kids can benefit from taking a few deep breaths. Take a look at these ways to help kids practice breathing:

    Girl sitting with legs crossed
  1. Mindful Breathing: Breathing is an automatic reflex. You don’t even have to think about it–it just happens! But being aware of your breath can help you feel more relaxed.  An easy way to be more mindful is thinking about when you smell your favorite scent.  Smelling is actually taking in a deep breath on purpose. Ask the youth to close their eyes and imagine smelling their favorite scent. Have them breathe in for the count of tow and breathe out for the count of four.
  2. Birthday candles
  3. Birthday Balloons and Candles: Sit with your legs crossed (feet flat on floor if you are sitting in a chair) and your back straight. Breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your lungs like a balloon. Imagine seeing your birthday cake with all of its bright candles. Blow them out by breathing out strongly through your mouth.
  4. Boy blowing bubbles
  5. Breathe In, Bubbles Out!: Take a deep breath in through your nose. Fill your lungs full of air! Hold your breath for one to two seconds. Put the bubble wand up by your mouth and blow! Repeat three to five times, trying to blow more bubbles each time.

See the whole lesson at  healthpoweredkids.org. Kids can learn how to use their breath to calm their mind and their bodies. 


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