#1144 Balloon Breathing

For Kids (and Their Parents)

In our last +1, we practiced some virtue mastery via our new (and always-evolving) Virtuegong practice.

How about a super-quick practice together?

It’s always a good time for a little virtue Optimizing, eh? 🤓

If you feel so inspired…

Sit or stand as the most powerful version of you.

Take a nice deep breath in through your nose, down into your belly, back out through your nose—exhaling slightly longer than your inhale to make sure we flip the parasympathetic nervous system switch.

Relax. Smile.

Now…

Let’s master some Virtues, shall we?

With each breath, silently say to yourself…

WISDOM.” “I know the game I’m playing and how to play it well.”
SELF-MASTERY.” “I commit to playing the game well.”
COURAGE.” “I am willing to act in the face of fear.”
LOVE.” “I am kind and present and encouraging.”

Boom. Four cardinal virtues.

Now for the scientific sub-virtues.

HOPE.” “I know my future is going to be amazing because I’ll do whatever it takes to make it so.”
GRATITUDE.” “God, thank you for blessing me with the gift of… My life and EVERYTHING in it.”
CURIOSITY.” “I’m so eager to see what unfolds in my life as I continue to Optimize.”
ZEST.” “I feel alive and Energized. Let’s. Do. THIS!!!”

Ah…

Virtuegong for the win! 🤠

Isn’t that nice?

I sure think so!! (Hah.)

But, that’s not quite the point of Today’s +1.

Today I want to talk about how to teach kids how to breathe properly. And, in our next +1, we’ll talk about how to calm both your nervous system and theirs when things get a little out of control.

Here’s what Emerson and I did together.

First: Remember that we can survive without food for weeks, without water for days but only minutes without oxygen. Breathing right is SUPER important!! And, in our hunched-over digitally-overstimulated world, most of us aren’t doing it right.

Quick recap of proper breathing techniques. Three things to know.

1. Breathe in (and out) your nose. (Your mouth is for eating. Your nose is for breathing!)
2. Breathe deeply into your belly. (Deeply not “bigly.” You want to be nice and relaxed. Your chest and shoulders shouldn’t be visibly moving much.)
3. Exhale slightly longer than your inhale. (This will make sure you flip the parasympathetic nervous system.)

(Note: My go-to guru? Patrick McKeown. Check out our Notes on The Oxygen Advantage and Optimal Breathing 101 for more. And, Patrick has a great kid’s book called Always Breathe Correctly you and your kids might enjoy!)

So…

Here’s what Emerson and I did.

We laid on a bed next to one another. Then we blew up belly balloons.

I showed Emerson how to make his belly expand nice and big as I breathed in gently through my nose—like I was blowing up a balloon in my belly.

Then I showed him how to let all the air out of the balloon as I exhaled nice and long (through my nose) and squeezed all the air out.

Repeat.

He tried it. Loved it. Rocked it.

Of course, I asked him how he’d get good at it and he said…

PRACTICE!

That’s Today’s +1.

Got kids?

Why not have fun blowing up some belly balloons?

TODAY!!!

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