When was the last time you considered your breath? If you are like most people, the answer is, you hardly consider it at all. Breath just happens—it is just there. It is only when what we feel or what we are dealing with impacts our breath that we have to stop and consider it. Usually when that happens it is because we are under stress of some kind. And stress can lead to even more panic, which can lead to even greater breathing difficulties.
One of the most troubling symptom that I have consistently experienced due to my stress and anxiety is feeling like I can’t breathe. This is so frightening. It can feel like an eternity when your breathing does not seem to be working correctly. Thankfully, I have learned to use mindful breathing techniques to calm down and move past those alarming moments.
Imagine, then, what your kids must feel like when they are scared and anxious. It is hard for us to truly comfort them in the moment when we do not fully understand what they are experiencing. However, we can give our children the tools they need to more effectively manage their anxiety.
Fortunately, there are several breathing exercises that have been found to help return our breathing back to normal and mitigate those unsettling feelings of anxiety, stress, and even anger. They involve putting a particular part of our body (such as the diaphragm) to work, or breathing in a particular pattern in order to return calm to our body’s natural processes. These exercises are great for us to master first, and then to teach our children how to do them effectively so they can easily calm down, too.
Follow these amazing tips to get your breath and anxiety back under control. Also, check out these fun mindful breathing games for your kids.