Breathing activities are an easy tool you can use to help manage emotions. Teaching a child how to breathe can help with slowing them down both physically and mentally. The goal of breathing exercises is to change the bodies “fight and flight” response to “rest and digest” mode.
When you are calm and breathing normal, your body is in “rest and digest” mode, your muscles are relaxed and you have a normal heart rate. When you experience a stressful experience your body goes into “fight or flight.” Your heart rate increases, breathing becomes shallow, and your stomach stops digestion.
Deep breathing helps to get more oxygen into your bloodstream and opens up your capillaries. Some of the benefits of deep breathing:
- Decreases stress.
- Reduces anxiety.
- Helps you to remain calm.
- Strengthens sustained attention.
- Sharpens the ability to focus and learn.
- Slows the heart rate.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Helps to control your emotions.
- Promotes appropriate social behaviors.
- Encourages happiness.
Deep breathing techniques to teach a child how to control their breathing.
- Use bubbles – Have kids breath in and blow out slowly
- Stuffed animal – Place stuffed animal on their stomach. Have them breathe in to move stuffed animal up and breathe out to move stuff animal down.
- Hoberman Sphere – Breathe in and expand the sphere, breath out and push sphere back in.
If you or a loved one is in need of Physical, Occupational, or Speech therapy please call us today at 586-323-2957.
Written by: Tracy Atkinson, COTA