Taking manual control of our breathing can have various physical and emotional benefits.
Fresh breath is good for our body.
Taking long, even breathes can also be be good for clear thinking, managing big feelings and making healthy choices. Like all fire drills, we can’t wait for the fire to have the tools and know-how of what to do. Teach and practice good breathing techniques with your children from as young as possible, and as often as possible.
Here are ways to practice good breathing with your children:
- Children learn from what they see. Role model and practice your own breathing techniques in front of your children.
- Build healthy breathing into your daily routine. Take nice deep breaths when you start the day, in the car, and before you go to sleep.
- Use props to help practice taking long even breaths. For example, placing a soft toy and object on your chest and watching it while you breathe in and out.
- Practice stepping outside and taking long breaths when things become tense or emotional.
- Positively reinforce and acknowledge any attempts to use breathing as a coping strategy (even if “take a deep breath!” is the last thing you want to hear from your child when you are having a tough day!)