Deep Breathing Strategies

Teaching Deep Breathing

Why:

1.Breathing influences all other systems in our bodies. Slowing our breathing and being conscious of our breathing helps us to calm our nervous system. Therefore, this is a skill that students will need throughout their entire lives.

2. Easy to do anywhere – with no equipment- it is portable!

3. Produces a relaxed state of being

4. Can be calming

5. Improves oxygen to the brain which in turn improves our thinking ability

6. Provides us with a sense of control

  • How to Teach Deep Breathing:
  • Teach each technique – one at a time to the entire class when everyone is calm and in a good mood.
  • Show visuals of each technique and post them in a place where students can use them as reminders.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice at all times of the day. Students need lots and lots of practice so that the techniques can be used automatically in times of stress. It takes LOTS of practice to become an expert.
  • Teach students to recognize signs of stress, frustration, and anger such as face getting hot, clenched fists, heavy breathing, crying, sweating, scrunched eyebrows, pounding heart.
  • Teach students the difference between short, quick, shallow breaths and long, deep, calming breaths. We want students to be using deep breathing since short breaths can actually make anxious feelings increase.
  • Model and role-play different situations practicing self-talk such as “I am upset that he took my toy. I can breathe like a bear 7 times.” “I am nervous about the fire drill. I can take 7 bunny breaths.” “He cut in line. I can say, “It’s okay” and take 7 deep breaths.”
  • If students need energy, have them inhale for a count of 7 and breath out quickly- see lion’s breath in the document download.
  • If the students need to calm their minds and bodies, have them inhale for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 6 or so (shorter inhale/longer exhale). See Calming Breaths in the document download.

Kindness Month: BE KIND CHALLENGE (free download)

February is a great month to focus on kindness

as well as February 17th is National Kindness Day

Children are not always naturally kind. They need to be taught lots of different ways to show kindness as well as the importance of showing kindness. Children also need lots and lots of modeling of kindness from the adults in their lives.

Kindness Challenges…

ONE: Challenge yourself and your colleagues to show 20 acts of kindness throughout the month and share those with the students.

TWO: Challenge the students to find five things you do each day that show kindness. They need to tell what you did AND HOW it showed kindness.

THREE: Challenge for the students to think of the different ways to show and think about kindness- kindness to others, to our environment and to themselves!

Here is a free download of a FIVE DAY KINDNESS CHALLENGE- appropriate for grades K-3rd

Continued Need for Deep Breathing

One of the best ways to help children prepare their minds and bodies to be ready to learn is through deep breathing.

Deep breathing is a quick and efficient strategy for lowering stress in the body. When we breathe deeply, a message is sent to your brain to calm down and relax.

At this time of the year and especially during this up and down year, it is important to remember to teach our students to stop and breath when they are feeling lonely, upset, aggravated, frustrated, bored, irritated, cranky, etc. AND it is important that the adults in their lives model this strategy frequently!

NOTE: Notice the emotion vocabulary words (lonely, upset, aggravated, frustrated, bored, irritated, cranky). Let’s help children to be specific about their feelings- are they sad because they are lonely or because they are frustrated? The greater depth of emotion words that we can assist children in using and be able to discern how they are feeling with more precision, the more specific we can be with providing useful, intentional strategies plus it is teaching our students to have emotionally rich expression.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Spring Themed Deep Breathing and Calming Strategies…

Also check out Winter Themed Deep Breathing Strategies (four strategies) at

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Themed-Deep-Breathing-Strategies-6256399

Winter Themed Deep Breathing Strategies journeyintoearlychildhood.com

AND

Teaching Deep Breathing: 16 Strategies https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Deep-Breathing-16-Visuals-of-Different-Ways-to-Breathe-Deeply-4289195

Breath with Mr. Snowman

We all need to take the time to give ourselves permission to stop and breath. Breath mindfully with Mr. Snowman while tracing his circles. As you breath in, visualize positive images and as you breath out, visualize all negative energy, stress and confusion leaving your body.

Michigan Medicine at University of Michigan reminds us: Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax. See their website: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255#:~:text=Deep%20breathing%20is%20one%20of,this%20message%20to%20your%20body for additional deep breathing ideas.

For more Winter Themed Deep Breathing Strategies, visit https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Themed-Deep-Breathing-Strategies-6256399 or contact Debra at journeyintoearlychildhood@gmail.com

Deep Breathing Strategies: Winter Themed

One of the best ways to help children prepare their minds and bodies to be ready to learn is through deep breathing.

Deep breathing is a quick and efficient strategy for lowering stress in the body. When we breathe deeply, a message is sent to your brain to calm down and relax.

Here are some fun strategies to teach the children in the winter months…

Visit Winter Themed Strategies for Deep Breathing or send an email to journeyintoearlychildhood@gmail.com to receive the document at no charge

Mindfulness Strategies for the Holidays

Children are not naturally mindful of their feelings, their own self-worth, and the positive attributes of others. We need to explicitly teach students strategies to be present and be mindful of themselves and others. Mindfulness has been demonstrated through a growing body of scientific research to have a positive effect on mental health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been documented as an effective strategy to regulate emotions and feel compassion and empathy.

FREE DOWNLOAD of some mindfulness activities during the holiday season

SEL Remote Style: Deep Breathing with Mr. Turkey

One of the best ways to help children prepare their minds and bodies to be ready to learn is through deep breathing.

Deep breathing is a quick and efficient strategy for lowering stress in the body. When we breathe deeply, a message is sent to your brain to calm down and relax.

Have fun practicing deep breathing to calm the brain and the body to be ready to learn. We still have two to three days (depending on the school district) for some purposeful, target-driven learning to occur. Use this turkey deep breathing to add in some holiday fun while preparing the mind so that the learning will stick!