“Take a deep breath.”
Breathing is something we’re not really conscious of, but we do it every second! Imagine how powerful conscious, mindful breathing can be. It’s calming and relaxing, and can also be energizing.
I began practicing mindful breathing last year, inspired by the life coaching program I attended. Every time we’d be in a high state of emotion, whether it was sadness or happiness, we’d always be reminded to take a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth.
It’s a great way to center oneself at work. I do it when I’m beginning to get agitated, whatever the cause may be. I close my eyes, do some mindful breathing for a minute, and I’m fine. I used to do it in private — I’d go to the washroom and do the breathing exercise there. Now I just do it at my desk. I haven’t gotten any questions so far about it.
At home, I taught my 5-year-old how to do it. In the beginning, it was me reminding him to take deep breaths. It usually happened when he was throwing a tantrum. After I let him express his frustration, whether it’s through tears or some angry words, I tell him, “Timmy. Take a deep breath.” He does. “One more time.” He does it again. It instantly calms him. Then he’s able to reflect better on what he was being so frustrated about, so we get to deal with it in a gentler, calmer manner.
Mindful breathing also helps when he’s super excited! Imagine a kid running around the house, fully pumped! I’d let him be, but once in awhile I’d remind him, “Timmy, calm down a bit. Take a deep breath…” And he does. “One more time.” He does it again. He’s still happy and energetic, but not going around in all directions. The energy becomes more focused.
This afternoon, we were having an argument. He had maxed out his iPad time (30 minutes) and was negotiating for more time. I wasn’t having any of it. I could see him getting mad. “I take a deep breath!,” he said. Then he closed his eyes, took a deep breath through his nose and exhaled. Then he did it again. When he opened his eyes, he was still mad but calmer. He didn’t get what he was bargaining for but at least he (unknowingly) grounded himself. Then he played with his LEGOs.
It’s a good parenting tip! I share it with you, especially if you’re beginning to throw a tantrum yourself too! 😉
Try the exercise too! Take a deep breath and you’ll feel more centered, more grounded. It always helps.