What’s all the fuss about breath?
Everybody breathes. If we didn’t, we’d die. Even the youngest of our kids know that!
But we aren’t taught to breathe. Not at home or at school. And sadly, from a very young age, we un-learn our natural way of diaphragmatic breathing and, as we slip into the busy-ness of life, our breathing becomes shallower and shallower, hovering mainly in our chest.
Research tells us – and so does our wiser self - that breathing more mindfully and deeply is critical for calming our nervous system, regulating our emotions, and relieving all the negative effects of stress and anxiety – and there’s no shortage of those.
When we introduce children to their breath, we introduce them to the MAGIC that lives inside of them and they begin to understand how this magic helps them to feel less worried, less angry, less scared. How it can help them to feel strong and courageous and calmer.
Especially during these challenging times, breathing can help children to self-regulate, self soothe, reduce anxiety, ward off stress, improve focus and performance, and create a healthy and well-rounded - emotionally and physically - young person.
It’s also SUPER easy to teach AND weave into everyday life!
8 BENEFITS that BREATHING MINDFULLY will have on YOU and your classroom!
1. Improves your well-being
When you teach your children different breathing exercises – to either calm or energise - it helps to reduce your stress levels and improve your overall well-being. This ultimately increases job enthusiasm and satisfaction and contributes to a better work-life balance.
2. Enhances educator-student relationships
Teaching breathing exercises is a great way for you to connect with your students and build authentic, meaningful relationships based on kindness, compassion and empathy.
3. Promotes a positive and supportive classroom environment
Once children learn how their magical breath can help them to regulate their emotions and manage stress and those ‘bigger feelings’ in healthier ways, your classroom climate will become calmer, and your students will be more compassionate and supportive towards each other.
4. Reduces minor incidents + classroom disruptions
Once children understand how their magical breath helps to regulate their behaviour and reduce impulsive responses, you’ll be able to remind them to use a calming or energising breath instead of lashing out in words or actions. With these reminders, you’ll notice fewer classroom disruptions, a reduction in minor incidents and tantrums and a happier and calmer classroom and playground!
5. Encourages slowing down
Mindful breathing exercises help children to calm down by slowing them down. Slow deep breaths help to calm a racing heart, regulate the nervous system and allow children to respond to whatever is stressing them in healthier and more equanimous ways.
6. Improves classroom management
By teaching breathing exercises, you’ll feel more equipped to manage challenging classrooms situations (you’ll be breathing mindfully too!), and to create a calmer learning environment with less disruptions that may send you off course.
7. Create the space for present moment awareness + inspired learning
Children cannot learn when they are distracted and feeling angry, sad, anxious, nervous or scared. Teaching them how to breathe mindfully helps them to pause, regulate their nervous system and find that ‘just right space’ between calm and alert. It is within this present moment awareness that inspired learning and inspired play takes place.
8. Enables teachers to better support students with anxiety or ADHD:
Breathing exercises act as a natural relaxant for all children and by providing students with the necessary tools to manage their emotions and attention, you can better support those with anxiety or ADHD, leading to improved social/emotional skills, classroom performance and overall well-being.
So what’s all the fuss?
No fuss! Just 60 seconds of daily calm, smooth breathing and you’ll feel the BIG difference it makes to you, your students and your classroom climate.