The Power of Belly Breathing: A Soothing Tool for School Counselors
Stress and overwhelming feelings are ubiquitous, affecting both educators and students alike. As a school counselor, teaching your students effective coping strategies can help them navigate these challenging moments. One such powerful technique is Belly Breathing, a calming exercise that encourages deep breaths, ultimately helping to soothe a busy mind.
No-Prep Activity: Belly Breathing
Belly Breathing requires no extra preparation or materials – perfect for a busy school day. All it takes is a few moments and attention to one’s breath. To start, ask your student to sit comfortably or lie down, place one hand on their belly, and another on their chest. The objective is to breathe in such a way that their belly, not chest, moves.
Next, guide your student through the exercise: inhale slowly through the nose for a count of five, feeling the belly rise. Then, exhale slowly through the mouth for another count of five, feeling the belly flatten. Repeat this exercise a few times, each time asking the student to focus more deeply on their breath and the movement of their belly.
Belly Breathing can be practiced anytime and anywhere – during a test, before a presentation, or even at home when feeling overwhelmed. It’s a skill that offers immediate relief and promotes calmness, helping students to regain focus and make better decisions.
- How does your body feel after practicing Belly Breathing? Did you notice any changes in your thoughts?
- What situations at school make you feel like you need to use Belly Breathing?
- How can you remind yourself to use Belly Breathing when you’re feeling overwhelmed at home?
- Do you think Belly Breathing could be beneficial for your peers? Why or why not?
- How might you explain the Belly Breathing technique to a friend who is feeling stressed or overwhelmed?
Belly Breathing is part of a larger category of social-emotional learning skills which encompass understanding and managing emotions, setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, and making responsible decisions. Other related skills include:
- Mindfulness: Being present in the moment can help students cope with overwhelming feelings and focus on the task at hand.
- Self-awareness: Recognizing one’s own emotions and how they affect thoughts and behaviors is a crucial step toward managing feelings.
- Self-regulation: The ability to effectively manage stress, control impulses, and motivate oneself to achieve goals.
Armed with the knowledge of Belly Breathing, you’re now equipped to help your students manage their emotions and thrive both in school and beyond. But there’s always more to learn and explore in the realm of social-emotional learning!
For more valuable resources and free samples of tools and techniques to guide students
on their emotional learning journey, don’t hesitate to visit everydayspeech.com/sample-materials/. There, you’ll find an extensive collection of resources for school counselors to further enhance their skills and ability to support their students.