When you don’t know what to say…just BREATHE.
Part of resilience is having a voice, choice and the ability to help ourselves feel better when overwhelming feelings come our way. The Circle of Courage refers to this universal need as independence. Without this universal need met, adults and children alike feel helpless, hopeless and emotionally exhausted.
It is proven that the part of the brain responsible for language becomes compromised when we have acute or chronic stress. In other words, there are NO words to describe the hurt, fear, anger or overwhelm we may be experiencing with back to school 2020. I hear over and over again, “I just don’t know what to say.” Many also feel like there is little to no choices or solutions for the best approaches to teaching or learning during a global pandemic. Teachers and students are navigating uncharted waters and the waves have been rough – impacting our sense of control and ultimately our sense of independence.
The good news however, also backed by brain science is the power of breath. While breathing is an involuntary function of the brain, we can make a choice and help ourselves feel better by regulating our overwhelming feelings when we breathe with intention. Intentional breathing strategies quickly activate the parasympathetic nervous system, counter-acting the stress response and elicits feelings of calm. The next time you aren’t sure what to say, or what to do or when a student is having a difficult time emotionally or academically, use the power of taking or encouraging an intentional breath.
Click below to learn more and watch Starr Senior Trainer Erin Reed demonstrate several exercises for breathwork at any age.
Learn more breathwork activities and other regulating exercises for all ages in Starr's Mind Body Skills: Activities for Emotional Regulation. Download a free sample below.
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