Thursday, March 23, 2017

A few breaths away...

There is one thing all students in the world have in common: stress.
Stress about the exams, stress about the results, stress about their parents, stress because they haven’t studied enough, stress because maybe they will be reprimanded by the teacher if they don’t answer correctly, stress because maybe their fellow students will laugh at them and so on.
As I have mentioned before, I believe that an educator’s job is not only teaching. I mean, we spend most of the day with these children; they share their dreams and their fears with us… The least we can do is to help them overcome any difficulties they have. Be there for them, talk to them, help them face the world.
What they should learn from an early age is to be calm.
In the following worksheet, I am sharing three breathing exercises that will help you and your students be calm and face everyday challenges.

Breathing Exercise 1:
Are your students having a bad day? Is it their last hour at school and they are pretty noisy? Try this breathing exercise before starting your lesson.

Have them sit comfortably, resting their back.
They can close their eyes, but it is not necessary.
Inhale through the nose for a count of four and then exhale through the nose again for a count of four.
Do the same for about a minute.
This exercise is said to help take your mind off of bad thoughts and make you feel more relaxed.
You can try this yourself before sleeping.

Breathing exercise 2

This exercise can be performed in the exam period, when all students are more stressed than usual.

With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions in heart rate and blood pressure.

Breathing exercise 3

This is a little treat to your students after an exam or a very stressful activity at the end of the lesson.
You can do this with slow music or with absolute silence.

Head straight towards that “happy place” no questions asked.
Have your students close their eyes and breathe deeply while focusing on pleasant, positive images to replace any negative thoughts. You can guide them controlling their breaths and telling them where to focus each time.

Suggested music:

Stanton Lanier: Wild flowers

Kiss the rain
Rhian Sheehan - Sileo

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