Breathing is probably one of the most basic things we do every day. We breathe constantly and without thinking about it, but when we get upset, our breathing changes. When someone feels scared, angry, or anxious, their breathing tends to get faster and more shallow, and we often don’t even realize this is happening! Fast breathing makes our bodies feel like we are not getting enough air, which causes us to breathe even faster and become more agitated. It’s a vicious cycle.
Just like breathing faster can cause anxiety and other negative feelings to go up, breathing slowly and deliberately can bring these feelings down. This activity helps kids visualize something non-threatening (bubbles) while bringing their attention to taking slow, calming breaths. I practice it in session before printing off a copy to bring home and practice later.