Diaphragmatic breathing in through the nose, helps to both calm and center, says Susan Verde, (susanverde.com), certified yoga and mindfulness teacher, author of I Am Yoga, (Abrams Young Readers) and forthcoming book The Water Princess (Putnam Young Readers). When anxiety strikes and our sympathetic nervous system is activated to fight, flee or freeze, focusing on the breath can help bring the system back into a place of calm.
Place your hands on your belly, take long slow inhales and feel the breath fill up like a balloon, then slowly let the belly “deflate” on the exhale. Your child can even count or say a mantra as she breathes in and out such as “I am calm.” This practice can carry over to anytime when your child feels anxious or overwhelmed.
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