Teaching breathwork to children while they're still young will offer them positive coping skills to utilize for the rest of their lives.
Children are resilient. They look at the world from a much different perspective than adults. That can be perceived as good or bad, depending.
Teaching children deep breathing exercises is a great way to keep them grounded and focused on what's going on around them. While many people associate deep breathing with stress relief, the fact is that breathwork offers many long-term benefits over and above simply relieving stress. Introducing these breathing exercises to children while they’re still young will offer them positive coping skills to utilize for the rest of their lives.
Why Breathwork is Important for Children
Children can sometimes feel as if they don't have any control over their lives. In general, going to school or dealing with difficult situations may instill within them a sense that they can't make decisions concerning their body or their life. Teaching them breathwork gives them an opportunity to govern their own body and how it reacts to specific types of stimulation. The ability to use breathing techniques to calm the body and mind can pave the way for the self-confidence that is needed to become stronger throughout their lives.
Long-Term Benefits of Breathwork for Children
There are a plethora of long-term benefits of teaching breathwork to children. Not only does it help them to calm themselves, but deep breathing also supports children in concentrating and focusing on the tasks in front of them. Regular breathwork performed before bed each night can assist with falling asleep and staying asleep, especially after a busy day. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the many benefits that breathwork has to offer!
Calms During an Emergency
During an emergency, children often become overwhelmed because they can’t control the events around them. Instead of letting the panic spread, encourage the children to begin taking long, deep breaths in through their noses and out through their mouths, holding the breath for a few seconds before exhaling the air out of their lungs. To maintain control of their breath, have them count as they inhale and as they exhale. Breathing in this way encourages relaxation within the body and mind.
Improves Mental Clarity
Deep breathing brings fresh oxygen into the body. As it enters the lungs, it’s drawn into the bloodstream, pumped throughout the body by the heart, and delivered into the brain. Fresh oxygen helps with focus and thinking more clearly. With a clearer mind, children have faster reaction times and can take action more quickly.
Much in the same way that breathwork improves mental clarity, deep breathing also improves concentration. As long as the supply of fresh oxygen is forthcoming, children's concentration will be enhanced. Practicing a few deep breaths before taking a test can improve thinking, allowing for greater ease in following directions and making it through long, difficult exams.
Improves Lung Function
Although breathing deeply serves many purposes, one of great importance is that it helps exercise the lungs. The more deep breaths that we take, the more flexible our lungs and rib cage will be. Keeping our lungs strong and healthy is a great way to avoid having an upper respiratory health condition. While deep breathing is not a cure-all, it can help restore the flexibility that our lungs may lose over time, especially if we don't exercise regularly.
Clears Toxins From the Body
Just like our livers, our lungs work like filters. As we breathe fresh air into the body, it’s taken in by the tiny sacs of air within the lungs. Toxins are then removed and expelled out of the body as we exhale. The contaminants that continue to work through the body will eventually be eliminated by the liver and kidneys. Additionally, it can give the immune system a boost.
If you’re dealing with a lot of stress right now, check on your children, as they may be having difficulties as well. Teaching deep breathing exercises, such as the Frequency practice, to them while they’re young can be so beneficial, both in the short-term and the long-term. It will offer them the fresh oxygen needed for their brains and bodies to function more efficiently, teach them how to effectively manage stress throughout their lives, and give them the confidence to maintain control of their bodies.
Besides breathing, grieving is one of the most natural things that we do. We are designed with the capacity to grieve, and we intuitively know how to do it. Yes, it is sad, gut-wrenching, and hurts our hearts, but it is organic. Thus, grieving is not the problem, it is our relationship to it, a relationship that is largely impacted by the societal undervaluing of vulnerability.
2020 has quickly become the year of all things breath related, from Covid-19’s attack on our lungs and needing to breath through a mask, to the Black Lives Matter slogan #ICantBreathe, from the last words of Eric Garner, to the book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor. We no longer can take our breath for granted. The truth is, we should never have taken our breath for granted.