At a time of stress and anxiety our breath tends to become shallow and our muscles become tight, making us feel more fatigued and tired than if we had remained relaxed. By focussing on our breathing we can help our bodies relax, having a positive effect on our ability to cope and our energy levels.
Keeping your breathing calm and even helps to relax your mind and body. When we are sore or anxious we tend to hold out bodies tensely, and ironically this can actually increase these sensations. Breathing calmly can help your body to relax and feel less discomfort, or you feel less bothered by it.
Try breathing down into your diaphragm (belly) for the count of 4, hold your breath for the count of 2, and breathe out for the count of 4. Keep repeating this until you start to breathe slowly naturally.
One of the best ways to stay calm is to try calm breathing.
Calm breathing has a slow in breath, a long out breath and pauses in between. In the links below are some fun ways to learn how calm breathing.
- Blow Out Birthday Candles
Counting For Kids
Breathe down into your tummy and count:
- breathe in 1… 2… 3… 4…
- pause 1… 2…
- breathe out 1… 2… 3… 4…
- pause 1… 2…
- and start again!
Blow Out Birthday Candles
Pretend you are blowing out birthday candles and as there are lots of candles you want to blow them ALL out in one breath, so it has to be a long slow one. You can picture the candles in your mind or you or someone else can hold up their fingers as candles.
- Using bubble mixture and a wand play with blowing bubbles.
- Can you make a long strong breath to make lots and lots of bubbles?
- Can you make a long and slow breath and make a single huge bubble?
- Who can make the biggest bubble?