My eldest son, Luca was diagnosed with multiple allergies and severe eczema as a baby. We were told, by many health professionals, that he was very high risk of developing asthma due to his health conditions. I added asthma to my list of topics to research and study. I wanted to find out more about the cause and effects of asthma and what could be done to relieve, reduce and cure (if possible) the disease. One area that my husband and I have been working on since our journey begun as parents, was reducing our stress levels. There have been many links between parental stress and the onset of childhood asthma.
Click here to see the article: Parental stress and the onset and course of childhood asthma
As I have been exploring ways of reducing stress and anxiety in my life, I have felt compelled to share what has been working for my family and I. We have made many changes and some have helped immensely. The changes have needed consistency and have now become habits and part of our daily routine. One very simple and effective exercise we have managed to keep up with is our breathwork. In fact, it is part of our bedtime routine. As I explored the benefits of breathing exercise, I have felt more encouraged to introduce this practice to all children I have the privilege of working with. In my opinion it is just as important as eating a healthy diet and daily movement.
Benefits of Breathing Exercises for Children
1. Helps with Managing Emotions for Children
Using controlled breathing as a tool to manage emotions can be very useful. Imagine if children were able to use breathing as a way of taking control when feeling angry, frustrated or over excited! This should be part of the schools curriculum right?! As we learn to self regulate our emotions, it can help us to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
2. Boost Energy Levels
Breathing exercises are a good way to re-balance our energies and can help us to feel revitalised, due to a boost in our oxygen levels. This can be very beneficial to children who may struggle with feelings of tiredness and fatigue, or those who generally have low levels of energy.
3. Helps to Improve Lung Function
Exercising the lungs will increase the lungs capacity and improve the function of the entire lungs. It’s simply a workout for the lungs!
4. Supports the Nervous System
Research has shown that slow breathing techniques supports emotional control and wellbeing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137615/
Our breathing influences our nervous system and, as previously mentioned, breathing exercises reduces stress and anxiety. Breathing influences the whole nervous system and in turn would have a positive effect on the rest of our wellbeing.
5. Helps Sharpen Concentration Levels and Ability to Focus
As a consequence of controlled breathing, stress levels are reduced and therefore improves cognitive performance. Breathwork is great for children when studying. It is a useful tool that can benefit us anytime and anywhere, as a powerful and effective way to boost our performance.
6. Helps to Improve Sleep
Breathwork is a valuable part of my children’s daily bedtime routine. It prepares us for a more peaceful, relaxed and better quality night sleep.
This is a great start for getting children used to taking control of their mind and body. It is also important we ensure our children are breathing through their nose. There are more benefits to nasal breathing which I will share in my next blog. For now keep it light hearted and fun with the kids. Short bursts will make children want to continue with this practice. For fun breathing exercises jump over to our Wellbeing Membership where I have created lots of short videos for children, and their families, to practice their breathing which they can learn and use anytime.
I hope this has encouraged you to include breathwork in your children’s daily routine!
Sending lots of love from my family to yours,