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...
In addition to its physiological benefits which support the heart, puku breathing has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. The deep and slow breathing associated with this technique 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. It’s the best thing we can do to support ourselves to relax and to fall asleep!
Why this activity?
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 tamariki, make this your go-to.
A quiet place is always nice, but not necessary and your awesome tamariki
What to do
Puku breathing is really easy to do.
Ask tamariki to find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down.
Ask them to put one hand on their puku and one on their chest.
Guide them to breathe in slowly and deeply through their nose. Making sure their hand on their puku moves out, but their hand on your chest stays still.
Slowly count a breath in for 4 and breath out for 6
Repeat this a few times until you can see tamariki feel calm and relaxed.
Remember that breathing can be repeated any time. It’s a great way to settle and calm tamariki. We know some kaiako who will use this in the morning and then first thing after the kai break.