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E-TIP: Use belly breathing to cope with anxiety and stress.

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Too much anxiety or stress may make it hard to think clearly or pay attention. Deep-breathing exercises can help you and your child cope with anxiety and stress.

How to Breathe with Your Belly

  1. Stand, sit or lie down straight.

  2. Place one hand flat on your upper chest and another flat on your abdomen (belly). Your thumb should be around your belly button.

  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose. Your belly should expand while your chest stays still.

  4. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. Feel your belly move back. Exhalation should take about twice as long as inhalation. For example, if you counted to three when you inhaled, count to six when you exhale.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you feel calm. If you feel light-headed, slow down your breathing or stop.


The following videos will help your child understand and apply belly breathing.

Try it!

Use belly breathing to cope with anxiety and stress in everyday situations, including at home. Encourage your child to use this strategy before or during stressful situations, such as tests. Incorporate belly breathing into your family's routine; start off every day with deep-breathing exercises.


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