Tag Archives: mindful breathing

Effects of Deep Breathing on Stress

Balloon Breath at Mindful Child

A growing number of research has revealed that diaphragmatic breathing activates a relaxation response in the brain and body. Deep breathing may improve both physical and mental health. Additionally, science tells us that deep breathing effects cognition, affect, and cortisol responses to stress.

What does the research say?

A study in 2016 examined whether breathing deeply is capable of improving mood and reducing stress. The results obtained from the research support that deep breathing is able to induce an effective improvement in mood and stress both in terms of self-reported evaluations and of objective parameters, such as heart rate and salivary cortisol levels.

Teaching children to breathe deeply is an important coping skill.

Mindful breathing teaches children that they have control over how they feel, which is something most children do not realize. Mindful breathing allows children to have power over their physical and mental energy, which, in turn, teaches them to self-regulate and engage in mindful behavior. Want your child to learn deep breathing techniques? Invest in their future and sign them up for a Mindful Child class or camp!

References

Perciavalle V, Blandini M, Fecarotta P, Buscemi A, Di Corrado D, Bertolo L, Fichera F, Coco M. The role of deep breathing on stress. Neurol Sci. 2017 Mar;38(3):451-458. doi: 10.1007/s10072-016-2790-8. Epub 2016 Dec 19. PMID: 27995346.

Ma, X., Yue, Z. Q., Gong, Z. Q., Zhang, H., Duan, N. Y., Shi, Y. T., Wei, G. X., & Li, Y. F. (2017). The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults. Frontiers in psychology8, 874. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874

Mindfulness Sequence for Reducing Stress

kids mindfulness kansas city

Children are faced with many stressors, such as friends, homework, school, and inadequate sleep. This mindful yoga sequence emphasizes stress reduction to create a sense of calm, while enhancing mindful awareness, focus, and executive functioning.

Begin with Mindful Yoga Breathing

Lay down on your back. Close your eyes, place one hand on your heart and one on your lower belly. Bring the soles of your feet together to form butterfly legs. Notice your heartbeat and breath. Take ten deep breaths in and out through the nose. Fill your hands go up as you breathe in and down as your breathe out.

Add Some Mindful Yoga Movement

Stand up in Mountain Pose and move through a slow sun salutation three times. Breathe deeply in and out through the nose. Take a few extra breaths in inversions such as Forward Fold and Down Dog Pose. When your head is upside down it is calming to the nervous system.

More Mindfulness

Choose a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths to settle in. Stare at an object you’ve chosen such as a visual timer. Let it fill up your gaze and mind. Tune everything else out. When your mind starts to wander, notice it, and bring it back. When your timer ends, close your eyes and try to keep the object you have been gazing at fixed in your mind. Take a few deep breaths, and when you are ready open your eyes.

End with a Relaxation Story

Find a comfortable position. Place an eye pillow with Young Living lavender essential oil over your eyes. Read one of the relaxation stories from Mindfulness for Children, to your child or make up your own. Try to include progressive muscle relaxation in your story. After your mindfulness practice reflect on the experience with your child. Have them notice how they feel and ask what they enjoyed with most. This will broaden your awareness of the activities that resonated with your child.