Sometimes you might feel mad, sad, or worried. You may feel overwhelmed. Stress can make your body feel tight, like all of your muscles are tensing up and squeezing together. Too much stress can lead to unhealthy choices. By resting and recharging through relaxation, you can calm the body and brain. How can you manage your mood and turn it around? One easy way is to practice deep breathing. Different kinds of breathing can help you relax and become more mindful of your choices. Try these today!

 

Belly Breathing

  1. Lie on your back. Close your eyes. Put your hands on your belly.
  2. Keep your mouth closed. Breathe in slowly through your nose and silently count to 8.
  3. Hold that air in your body while you silently count to 2.
  4. Slowly let the air out through your mouth or nose. 

Try it now. Breathe in through your nose. Hold the air in your body. Slowly let the air out.  Repeat 5 times. What did you feel your belly do? Your belly should go up and down when you take deep breaths. Imagine your belly as a beach ball, inflating with the inhale and deflating with the exhale. That is why this is called belly breathing! 

 

Bumble Bee Breath

  1.  Sit or kneel. Make sure your head is straight forward, your spine is tall, your chest is high, and your shoulders are back. Close your eyes.
  2. Keep your mouth closed. Breathe in slowly through your nose and count to 8 in your head.
  3. Hold that air in your body while you silently count to 2.
  4. Plug your ears and slowly let the air out as you hum (like a bee buzzing “mmm”).

Try it now. Breathe in through your nose. Hold the air in your body. Slowly let the air out while humming.

 

Dragon Breath

  1. Sit or kneel. Make sure your head is straight forward, your spine is tall, your chest is high, and your shoulders are back. Close your eyes.
  2. Keep your mouth closed. Breathe in slowly through your nose and silently count to 8.
  3. Hold that air in your body while you silently count to 2. 
  4. As you let the air out, open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue. Imagine you are releasing fire like a dragon.

Try it now. Breathe in through your nose. Hold the air in your body. Open your mouth, stick out your tongue and release all of the air deep from your belly.

 

For Parents
This activity is appropriate for kids of all ages, best for ages 3 to 7. When doing these deep-breathing exercises, make sure your child feels comfortable. Use a bed or a couch to lie down, and carpet or a mat to sit or kneel. To help your child keep track of time, count softly during the inhale, hold, and exhale. Continue the breathing exercise until your child feels relaxed. Feel free to join!

Be fit! Being aware of feelings and emotions is the first step to managing your mood. Teach children to recognize that feelings and emotions influence their behaviors and choices. When you motivate your mood through mindfulness, relaxation, and positive self-talk you are more equipped to make fit choices and adopt healthy behaviors.