Hā - breathing
Our hā, to a large degree, controls how we feel, and will either support us to calm, or to escalate. Our hā is the most effective ways to manage big feelings, here's how...
Firstly, the science...
Puku breathing has been shown to have a really positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. The deep and slow breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our tinana rest and digest response. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and promote relaxation.
The cool thing about puku breathing is it's actually associated with a reduction in stress and anxiety. Another wee tip - t’s the best thing we can do to support ourselves to relax and to fall asleep.
Why puku breathing?
Puku breathing is a great way to relax and de-stress. When we get stressed or anxious, we tend to take shallow breaths, which only adds to the tension. But when we focus on taking deep breaths from our puku, it sends a signal to our brain to calm down and relax. If things are feeling a bit hōhā or hectic for your or your tamariki, make puku breathing your go-to.
A quiet place is always nice, but not necessary. Otherwise you just need your wonderful self. But feel free to share this time with others too and take some collective puku breaths!
What to do
Puku breathing is really easy.
Find a comfortable spot to sit or lie down.
Put one hand on your puku and one on your chest.
Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Making sure the hand on your puku moves out, but the hand on your chest stays still.
Slowly count a breath in for 4 and breath out for 6
Repeat this a few times until feel calm and relaxed.
Remember that breathing can be repeated any time. It’s a great way to settle and calm tamariki too.
Colour and display
A great way to remember to puku breathe is to display wee reminders. Here's a poster you can print and colour or recreate. FYI, colouring and drawing are calming activities too.
This is your Remembering to Puku Breathe poster
We also love
More colouring and reminders of calming things to do can be found on our 20 Ways to Find Calm Again poster (black and white version or colour version).