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Using 5-5-5 Breathing to Calm Down

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Using 5-5-5 Breathing to Calm Down

clouds spelling, "just breathe"
Frazao Production/

One part of our nervous system gives us more energy when we need it. This part is called the sympathetic nervous system. Another part helps calm us down when we are too excited. This part is called the parasympathetic nervous system. When you get upset, nervous, or anxious, you can trigger your parasympathetic nervous system to calm yourself down. This activity will teach you a simple technique called 5-5-5 breathing.

Your Turn Try 5-5-5 breathing. Follow these steps.

  1. Inhale very slowly through your nose for 5 seconds: 1-2-3-4-5.
  2. Exhale very slowly through your nose or mouth for 5 seconds: 1-2-3-4-5.
  3. Wait for 5 seconds: 1-2-3-4-5.
  4. Repeat the process three more times (1 minute total).
  5. Notice how you feel. (You should feel calmer.)

From page 13 in In Focus (6-8)

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