Breath to overcome fear – Aajol

Breath to overcome fear

When we feel fear, our body responds in a programmed fashion. Our heart races, our breath stops and then shortens and quickens, our eyes become wide, our awareness expands to scan for threat and escape routes, our energy is quickly mobilised to our limbs and so on. We know that all this comes in handy if there’s a real threat in the environment. We also know that children are in the process of identifying which is a real threat and which is not. Whatever the case, we know that all of us need to learn to overcome this fear response especially for when the threat is not real.

Denial of fear is not equal to courage. An important part of the process of courage is overcoming fear. Overcoming fear can be translated as managing all these automatic responses of the body and stepping out of the fear space. Breath as a tool proves to be extremely powerful here.

While our body responds to fear in its own automatic manner, we can train our body to use breath to calm itself (of course when the threat is not real).

We can teach our child to do this and practise this when the child gets scared of the sound of the mixer or firecrackers or thunder or whistle of the cooker or climbing on a ladder or going in the dark and so on. We can accompany our child into those places and breathe together, long deep breaths, while experiencing the fear. Courage can be cultivated through this technique.

Activity:

Identify a small thing your child is mildly afraid of.

Tell your child, it’s okay to be afraid.

Tell your child that you are going to be there for them and that you are going to take deep breaths together while that thing is present.

Tell your child that together you are going to practise more like that.

Once the child gets a hang of it, use it for bigger things that might feel slightly more intense to your child.

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