Deep breathing is a fantastic way to help manage stress and anxiety. It is impossible to be in a state of high emotion when breathing deeply.
Here are some simple tips to encourage your child to breathe deeply.
1. Encourage your child to take in conscious deep breaths. You can model this, showing them how to breathe in deeply, keeping the shoulders down and breathe out as slowly as possible. (in through the nose and out through the mouth).
2. As they take in a deep breath through their nose, ask them to tighten and relax different parts of the body. You could turn this into a relaxing game by calling out different body parts – jaw, face, arm, lips, shoulders, toes, hands, legs.
3. Ask your child to imagine the breath is a colour and let them breathe that colour in.
4. They could imagine the breath is their favourite smell as they breathe in deeply and slowly.
5. Your child could imagine the breath is warm or cool as they take in their deep breaths.
6. As they breathe out, they could hum or hiss like a snake softly and slowly.
7. Encourage children to be aware of their tension and stress so when they feel tense they can self nurture and breathe in deeply and send their breath to that part of the body.
We do incorporate breathing exercises in our Relax Kids audios – you could try our Relax and De-stress album.