Deep breathing is a great relaxation tool for you as a mom and for your kids as well. Many times you aren't aware but when you are stressed, afraid or tense, your breathing changes. It becomes more rapid and shallow. Deep breathing allows you to relax instantly and clear your mind of negative thoughts and emotions. It also allows for a pause in the midst of a chaotic situation, like a toddler tantrum or meltdown, in order to not escalate the situation.
Deep breathing increases the levels of "happy" chemicals or neuro transmitters in your brain so it can actually improve your mood! My family jokes often about the saying "if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy" and while it is funny, there is also truth to it. Our kids pick up on our stress and our bad moods and react in kind. If we can control our stress levels, it will have positive ripple effects on the whole household. Deep breathing is one way we can accomplish this.
So, how do you practice deep breathing? Here are three easy steps:
- Inhale deeply through your nose, until you can see and feel your belly expand (about the count of 5).
- Hold and count to 3.
- Exhale through your mouth, counting to 5.
Then repeat as many times as needed until you feel your heart rate return to normal, your breathing slow on it's own and you feel calmer.
I promise, it works! You can also teach your kids, as young as two, to deep breathe and help them learn to calm themselves at a young age.
To catch up on our other ABC's of Motherhood posts, follow the links below.
Till next time,