Stress Awareness Day & Square Breathing

National Stress Awareness Day 
2 November 2016
Stress. We can’t see it but we can feel it. It causes a surge of hormones in the body creating that ‘fight or flight’ response until the pressure or threat we are experiencing has passed. However, if you are under constant stress, those hormones stay in the body and can lead to multiple symptoms, both mental and physical; anything from feeling unable to cope under pressure to a racing heart, sweating and dizziness. Stress can affect everyone, including little ones. We believe it is important to encourage an awareness from an early age about how you feel, what causes these feelings and how you can help yourself. Stress can overwhelm us very quickly, but the great news is there are also speedy ways to reduce it effectively. 

While you can’t always prevent stressful situations, learning ways to manage stress can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. One of the best tools you have is your breath. This is because breathing deeply and mindfully triggers your body’s natural relaxation response – prompting it to secrete hormones that decrease blood pressure and heart rate.

We thought National Stress Awareness Day was the perfect opportunity to share one of our favourite techniques to relieve stress -  square breathing. This is a simple and effective method for calming the nervous system and clearing the mind…it is also a fantastic way to introduce children to the power of deep breathing as you can create easy visual aids to help them.

Give square breathing a go:

Breathe in for four counts
Hold your breath for four counts
Breathe out for four counts
Hold for your breath four counts
Repeat at least 3 times or until you feel relaxed

To help little ones with this technique, try creating easy diagrams for them to follow as they breathe. You can use fun stickers to mark each count of breath and get them to touch each one as they go through.


mindfulness square breathing

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