Focusing on your breath is a great way to calm feelings of stress, anger, or distraction and reconnect with the body. One of our favorite methods of mindful breathing is called “Four Square Breathing”. With one finger in the air, draw an imaginary square in front of you. As you draw each side of your square, count to 4 (in your head) and follow this simple breathing pattern:
Repeat these steps 4 times. Are you feeling a little more relaxed?
Another exercise that can help shift your focus and tune into the present moment is to draw your attention to your immediate surroundings by going on a search for the colors of the rainbow! Start with the color red. What nearby item do you see that is red? Once you find an object, think about it! Does it have an interesting texture? Imagine how it might feel if you touched it. Once you’ve considered your red object for a few moments, turn your attention to the next color: orange. Can you find something orange? Go through each color—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet—one at a time, pausing each time to focus. Feeling calmer? If not, go through the colors again and challenge yourself to find 7 new things!
Researchers have found that doodling is not only a soothing activity that can help quiet a racing mind, but it can also unlock deep thought and more creativity. The goal is to help your mind wander—joyfully—while your pen explores paper, so don’t worry about what the end product will look like! If you don’t know how to start, begin with simple lines, or even a word (like “blank”) somewhere on the page. Explore by extending the lines or the letters with zigs and zags, or swirls and curls! Once you make your first few marks on the page, continue on your doodle journey! Fill up the page, and feel your creativity unlock.
Interested in more strategies for social-emotional learning? Check out Bansho’s Chill Out playlist, and fill out the form below to connect with a member of our educational support team!