I’m sure you have heard by now that using your breath in an intentional way can alleviate feelings of worry, anxiety, fear, anger, overwhelm, (I could go on) to help us regulate and bounce back from big emotions. In the Resilient Kids Program, I teach children about the power of their breath to assist them to return to the Green Zone (a zone where all of the positive feelings reside, these feelings help us to learn, concentrate, play, get along with others, etc.)
Introducing your child to a range of breathing techniques and practising them together is a powerful way to teach your child that they have power over their emotions and the physiological responses that go along with them. One of my favourite breathing techniques is what the Zones of Regulation curriculum refers to as Lazy 8 Breathing because the 8 is laying down. I have also heard it referred to as Infinity Breathing as well.
How To Do It:
- Print out the PDF poster from the link below.
- Stick it on your wall at your child’s chest height.
- Ask your child to align their midline with the star.
- Place their finger on the star in the centre.
- As they move their finger in the direction of the arrows they can breathe in through their nose.
- When they cross over the star to the other side, they can breathe out through their mouth.
- Encourage them to try to keep their breathing slow and steady. Keep going until they feel calm.
Practice this with your child while they are calm so when emotions take hold they are familiar with it. Talk to them about when they might use it and how they could still use the technique even when they aren’t in front of the poster by visualising the 8 in their head and breathing in and out.
In the Moment:
In the emotional moment encourage your child to use the poster and follow the lazy 8 with their finger. If the centre of their body is aligned with the star, their arm will be crossing their midline. This also assists in helping them to focus and calm their brain so they can bounce back and continue on with their day!