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5-10 minutes


Primary / Junior / Intermediate




To provide students with a tool to calm feelings of anxiety and manage stress

For each practice below, remind students to keep breathing and to avoid holding their breath.

  • Sit up tall in your chair. Keep your feet flat on the ground, your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.
  • Breathe in through your nose, and as you breathe out, stretch both arms over your head as you connect the palms of your hands. Keep your shoulders down.
  • Breathe in for a three count, breathe out for a three count.
  • Take a deep breath in again. As you breathe out, bring your arms down to resting position.
  • Breathe in through your nose. As you breathe out, bring one arm behind the back of your chair while your other arm folds over your chest (like the wings of an owl).
  • Breathe in as you gently turn your head and gaze in the direction that your fingers resting on your chest are pointing in, breathe out.
  • Breathe in. As you breathe out, return your arms to resting position and your head to look forward.
  • Repeat the sequence.
Go limp
  • Breathe in through your nose. Breathe out for a three count, fold your body over to rest on your lap, and let your arms, shoulders and head hang.
  • Relax as you take a breath in for a three count, and a breath out for a three count.
  • Let all your tension and stress fall out and onto the floor.
  • Breathe in and slowly return to sitting position for a three count; breathe out for a three count.
  • Take one last deep breath in for a three count, take a breath out for a three count and smile.
  • Once this practice is well established in your classroom, you may wish to ask students to lead it.
  • This can be practiced during transition times, before or after a test, or as a movement break.
  • With each breath in, students can quietly say in their minds, “God fill me with (peace),” and with each exhale they can quietly say, “God fill the world with (peace).”
  • Affirmations can be co-created or individual.

Students who engage in physical activity and/or breathing exercises during the school day are able to focus, and maintain attention throughout the day, as these tasks stimulate executive functions, and allow students to regulate emotions experienced in the classroom (Diamond & Lee, 2011).

Diamond, A., & Lee, K. (2011). Interventions Shown to Aid Executive Function Development in Children 4 to 12 Years Old. Science, 333(6045), 959-964.

Stretching and relaxation exercises can be incorporated throughout the day with affirmations about God’s love.

(4d) A self-directed, responsible, lifelong learner who responds to, manages, and constructively influences change in a discerning manner.

Self-regulation and well-being: to regulate emotions, adapt to distractions, and assess consequences of actions in a way that enables engagement in learning