Stop and Settle with Five-Fingers Breath


A reaction is not the same as a response. A reaction is instant and emotional and comes from a part of the brain wired for survival. A response requires time for thinking and planning. Sometimes waiting long enough to respond thoughtfully is hard. This video shows you how to use your own hand as a tool to practice waiting and breathing until clear thinking comes back online.

Children might learn to put out their hand like a stop sign, then turn the palm toward their face to trace each finger with the other hand while taking five breaths. Start at the thumb and trace up and down each finger. Breathe in while tracing up the finger, and breathe out while tracing down the finger, moving along the hand until a long exhale slides all the way from the tip of the pinkie finger down to the elbow. Pause to notice how you feel after finishing.