by on January 6, 2022
For most of us, breathing is an automatic process we barely notice. However, the simple act of inhaling and exhaling can have a big impact on our mood and thoughts. Deep breathing has long been used as a relaxation technique that can help both children and adults. Breathing exercises are one of the most effective calming strategies for children dealing with difficult emotions when tempers start to flare, for example.
Breathing exercises help kids build social emotional and executive function skills: When kids use these techniques to express anger without hurting themselves (or others, or even things), they are better able to focus in class and form good friendships.
How can breathing exercises help children and adolescents?
Reduce stress and anxiety
Reduce tension
Stable blood pressure
Boost immunity
Increase energy levels
Breathing exercises for children
When it comes to deep breathing exercises for kids, the key is to make them fun and easy to remember when things get messy. To help incorporate breathing techniques into your child's life, we've compiled a list of the five best breathing exercises for kids.
Use bubble
Gently blowing air to create bubbles is a great way to have fun and take deep breaths. Children have to blow bubbles slowly and carefully, which is one of the main reasons I like to use it to help children take deep breaths.
Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash
Use a feather
Get some colorful feathers and pick out one feather to use. It could be a color they like, or it could be a color that makes them feel calm. Inhale for a count of 3, then exhale up one side of the feather and down the other.
Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash
Smell the flowers and blow out the candles
Have your child pretend that he or she is holding a flower in one hand and a candle in the other. The first step is to smell the flowers, taking a deep breath through your nose to fill your lungs with air. Next, let your child exhale and blow out the candle with the other hand.
Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash
Animal breathing techniques
If your child loves animals, these animal breathing techniques may be the best practice for your child. Here are our favorite animal breathing tips and how to implement them correctly:
Snake Breath - Inhale through your nose for 3 seconds, hold for 1 second, and exhale with a snakelike hissing sound.
Rabbit Breath - three quick inhales through the nose, then one long exhale through the nose. Practice slowing the exhalation each time your child does this conscious breathing exercise.
Bumblebee Breath - Similar to rabbit breathing, bumblebee breathing requires you to inhale and exhale only through your nose. However, this deep breathing technique is also similar to snake breathing when it comes to animal sounds. That is, on the exhale, have your child buzz or buzz like a bee.
Use the OPUMP breathing trainer
OPUMP APP provides a wealth of training content, from standard breathing lessons to enjoyable breathing games, to help your child happily and effectively complete breathing training, and develop good breathing habits.
Get Started
Deep breathing is a great first calming strategy to teach children, and no matter how you choose to teach your child about these emotions and how best to deal with stressful situations, breathing techniques are a great place to start! Because it's always with them, you can make it fun and easy for them to remember. Try the five techniques above, choose the breathing exercise that works best for your child, and stick with simple belly breathing to start with.
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