Square Breathing

This is a technique that is similar to the Bubble Breathing worksheet I posted several weeks ago. Some people have trouble visualizing the bubbles or prefer not to use the imagery of breathing out the negative emotions but would still benefit from some breathing techniques.

Since square breathing involves movement to trace the square, this is a great activity for adults to do with kids to model how the activity is done and to show how taking big, cleansing breaths can bring down negative feelings.

Image text: This is an activity that you can do anytime, anywhere that you start to feel upset, angry, or sad. To start, use your pointer finger to trace a long line up as you take a big breath in. Then, hold your breath and trace the line horizontally in front of you. Next, breathe out slowly as you trace a line down. Hold your breath again as you trace a line back across the square. Keep doing this until you feel your body become calm! Each time you trace your square, try to go more slowly than the last time. If you’d like, you can say a four-word calming phrase as you go. One you can use is, “I am feeling calm.” Slowly think or whisper, “I…” as you inhale, “Am…” as you hold your breath, “Feeling…” as you exhale, and “Calm…” as you hold your breath again.

This and more activities to help kids self-regulate and share their feelings appropriately are available in my book, I Don’t Want To Be Bad, available in paperback or on Kindle at Amazon!

Published by Amy Marschall, Psy.D.

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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