Dr. Caraisco’s May Corner

Deep Abdominal Breathing

Dear Families and Caregivers,

We are always looking for ways to help students cope with stress in their everyday lives.  Deep abdominal breathing is a simple relaxation technique that students can practice any time of the day and especially before a stressful situation such as taking a test or giving a presentation. When stressed, the body goes into a “fight or flight” survival mode. Muscles become tense and breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate go up. This response is helpful to an athlete running a race, but it is not helpful to a student taking a test.

To counteract the harmful effects of stress and to regain focus and calm, students should practice the following steps for deep abdominal breathing:

  • Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Take in a slow breath through your nose and try to make your abdomen inflate like a balloon.
  • Slowly breathe out through your mouth. Imagine the balloon deflating.
  • Repeat several times in a steady, calm rhythm.

After just a minute or two of this deep breathing exercise, the body relaxes and tension disappears. Remind your child to use deep abdominal breathing as an antidote to stress. You may want to make this technique a part of your day too. It’s an easy, effective way to cope with the unavoidable stress of living, and it works!

Love Always,

The P.S. 188Q Family