Just breathe for less stress


Your child can find exams, giving a speech, performing in sports or making friends very stressful. Anxiety cause them to take short, or shallower, breaths, which worsen the stress response and elevates their cortisol (stress hormone) levels. In contrast, slow, deep breathing stimulates the opposite reaction and will help them feel calmer and gain control over their emotional state. 

Correct deep breathing uses your diaphragm and is also known as abdominal or belly breathing. A powerful tool to help them perform better.

Three breathing exercises to relax in five minutes

  1. Colour breathing. Let your body relax, take a slow, deep breath and feel the air gently fill your lower belly. Breathe out. Follow your breath in your imagination as it moves in and out. Give your breath a colour, such as blue, and imagine the breath moving into and filling your lungs and then your body with colour.
  2. Self-massage. Relax your shoulders and, while taking deep, slow breaths, use your fingers to put pressure on your neck and shoulder muscles. Give yourself a facial massage by making small firm circular movements across your jaw line and scalp with your fingertips 
  3. The 4-7-8 breathing exercise. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a count of four seconds. Hold your breath for a count of seven seconds. Exhale completely through your mouth, to a count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Deep breathing does not always come naturally so practice is essential. At first, practice a deep breathing exercise for five minutes twice a day, perhaps on waking and when getting into bed. Try one of the relaxation breathing techniques above several times before experimenting with another one.

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The FAB Quotient™ was developed by Celynn Erasmus and Joni Peddie. To order their book visit www.resilientenergycenter.com