• Jessica Poggioli

Keep Breathing Simple

Breathing is definitely trending. Not the kind that keeps you alive (that’s always been popular), but do quick internet search for “slow breathing”, “meditative breathing”,  or “conscious breathing” and you’ll find countless articles, videos, and apps, all about how breathing can help you with stress, relaxation, or increased focus or vitality. Some techniques are complicated and time consuming, and most claim to be the best form of breathing for one purpose or another. There’s the 4-7-8 technique, bellows breathing, lion’s breath, alternate nostril breathing, equal count breathing, the list goes on. Even techniques for kids involve a lot of counting, and one site actually said, “In order for your child to be able to use this new [breathing] tool effectively, he or she first needs to be an expert at calm breathing.  The only way to become an expert is to practice this skill daily!”   For something that is supposed to be relaxing for you and your child, some folks are making learning to breathe correctly pretty stressful and time consuming.  The problem is that messages like the one about daily practice is going to turn off a lot of busy moms and dads from teaching their kids calm breathing strategies.  And that’s too bad, because calm breathing can be simple and fun. Here’s the good news: research shows that it’s  paying attention to your breathing, not any one specific technique, that results in increased attention, feelings of well-being, and better emotional control.  You can start to achieve this effect any time, any place and you can do whatever type of breathing feels good to you. You can take a few slow, controlled breaths, or shut your eyes for 30 seconds and pay attention to what the air feels like going in and out of your body. Maybe you prefer breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Try setting a timer for 30 seconds and see what happens.  Or do this with your kids for six breaths, visualizing yourselves breathing each color of the rainbow one by one.  BeetleDoo’s Sync Your Breath to Relax in 30 Seconds video is a simple, paced breathe-in-and-out tool to help you and your kids refocus your breath and get it back into a nice groove. Breathing doesn’t have to be complicated.  If you enjoy some of the more complex techniques, that’s great. But the most important thing to remember is that the best technique for you is the one that you’re practicing and enjoying.  If you’re doing it, it’s helping. So breathe.

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Jessica Poggioli, Psy.D.


Waldwick, NJ 07463 & Warwick, NY 10990

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