Are you aware of your breathing?
Is your breath usually slow or fast?
Do you breathe deeply or is your breath shallow?
This simple practice of paying attention to your breath is the starting point for mindfulness. For teachers it is so much more though. The way you breathe has a huge impact on your health and your mood. When you breathe slowly and deeply your body naturally relaxes and you feel calmer. Not only that, everyone around you feels calmer too because you exude calm.
Are you starting to understand how this can have an impact on your classroom?
When we are stressed or in danger one of the first things that changes is our breath. Our body prepares for Fight or Flight and our breathing speeds up to enable us to be strong or run quickly. Unfortunately our bodies haven’t realised yet that we don’t often need that reaction in modern life. We are highly unlikely to run away or hit someone when we find out we have OFSTED coming (well not until they arrive anyway – tee hee!).
So, in order to calm your body you must learn to slow your breathing.
There are many breathing techniques you can learn, and teach to you classes, to help everyone breathe slowly and control their anxiety. Many of these are included in my free Calmer Classroom Cards which you can download here.
Breathing properly can also make a huge difference to your voice and your ability to project and preventing sore throats. If you breathe from your diaphragm and project from your chest rather than from your throat and head you will put less strain on your throat.