Got the 4th of July on the brain? Join the club. The thing is, anxiety and crummy feelings don’t take a vacation because it’s a holiday. In fact, kids being off their routines, commotion of family and friends, crowds, expectations, and burnt hot dogs can be a perfect recipe for stress for kids and parents. So whether you check out the Box Breathing technique now or save it for later, just make sure you give it 5 minutes. A friend of mine just told me it changed their life! I believe it.
You may want to teach it to your kids BEFORE they need it. It feels good to remind your child they have a trick they can use to feel better on their own when there’s no ice cream, iPad, or other feel-good diversion available. And even if there is, having your child rely on themselves first is a critical skill that will go a long way in life. The U.S. Navy Seals even use box breathing! That's a powerful endorsement.
My kids and I use box breathing all the time. I find myself using it throughout the day on autopilot. I use it to clear my mind, when I am having anxiety, to help me focus and to relax. Kids have told me they use it when they have a headache, fighting with their sibling, and crying and feeling like poo for no explainable reason. That last one happens to the best of us.
So in honor of “Mental Freedom” this 4th of July give your kids a free tool they can use for the rest of their life. The Box Breathing section on the Next in Mind includes a 5 minute meditation that teaches your kids how to do it as well as a infographic for visual learners.
Happy Independence Day!