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Be Mindful with Belly Breathing

Belly breathing is a simple mindfulness strategy you can teach your children and use to relax yourself as well:

  • Have your child sit or lie down.

  • Have your child place one hand over the belly, the other hand over the chest.

  • Model how to inhale through the nose and feel the belly push out.

  • Exhale through the mouth and feel the belly pull in.

  • Continue modeling this deep breathing until your child understands.

  • Repeat three to five times. 

Make it fun by pretending to blow out a candle or that you’re blowing up a balloon as they inhale and exhale. You can also have your child hold a stuffed animal on his belly and watch it move up and down while they breathe deeply. These “breathing buddies” can help children see and feel what deep breathing looks like, so that both their brains and bodies remember. If children get used to belly breathing at a young age, they may carry this healthy ritual into the rest of their lives. Want to learn more about mindfulness?

"Stress Health/Center for Youth Wellness, used with permission”

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