Anxiety Prevention for All Ages
Anxiety. Panic attacks. Such a BEAST!! I said to my husband last week, “if I never have to experience panic in my life again, I would be SOOOO relieved.”
I teach wellness tools but I KNOW firsthand that when fight/flight hits, taking a deep breath, feeling grateful, or focusing on one point can go right out the window!
So I wanted to share three breathing techniques meant as a preventative approach to keep the nervous system balanced. Great for all ages!
When our Nervous system goes out of balance the same tools can help us get us back into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), but it can be a lot harder.
These 3 breathing techniques are designed to soothe the body and mind by sending a signal to the brain that everything is ok.
The list below is for adults and children to do separately or together to regulate body and mind.
Try these breaths 3-5 times and choose the one that works best for you!
Belly Breath/ Diaphragmatic Breathing
Fully engaging the stomach, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm when breathing which helps fill the lungs more efficiently
- *Lie down on your back You can use a pillow under your head and your knees for support if that’s more comfortable.
- *Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly, just below your rib cage.
- *Breathe in slowly through your nose, letting the air in deeply, towards your lower belly. Focus on the rise of the breath going into the belly.
- *Exhale and let all the air out through pursed lips
- * For children: Place a stuffed animal or bean bag on the stomach and watch it rise and fall with your breath. Children love the visual and fun of taking a stuffed animal on a ride”
Lengthening the Exhale
The best way to do this is by counting–inhale to a count of four and exhale to a count of six. Counting as you breathe and slowing down the breath will enhance calm and focus.
*Sit up nice and tall to open the lungs
*Take a big breath in through the nose for 4,3,2,1 Exhale all the air out for 6,5,4,3,2,1
*For children you could say “Smell the flower…. Cool off the cocoa/soup” as you encourage their long exhale through pursed lips
Hand on heart breathing
Research indicates that physical touch releases oxytocin which provides a sense of security and soothes distressing emotions.
*Sit down or lie on your back
*Place one palm over your heart followed by the other
* Bring all your attention to your inhale as you breathe in through the nose
* Exhale all the air completely through the mouth
*For children, sparking up the imagination can help. Inhaling the color blue (or favorite color) exhaling yellow (or a color of their choice)
We believe strongly that not all minds and bodies can find stillness or breathe deeply easily. One’s mindfulness practice can look a lot different than another too! A reminder that trying different tools to learn which work best for your unique body and mind is more helpful than forcing something to work.
For more tools visit OurRootsUp.com