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Breathing with a Buddy

A Mindfulness Practice for Families

This exercise helps you engage your belly and diaphragm (the muscle at the bottom of your rib cage) to help calm your nerves and relax. It’s a great exercise to do at bedtime, rocking your buddy to sleep with your breath.

  • Select a stuffed animal to be your buddy.
  • Lie down on your back with your legs straight and your arms at your sides. Take a moment to relax.
  • Place your buddy on the soft part of your belly. Feel the weight of your buddy resting there.
  • Now, rock your buddy by taking deep breaths:
  • Take a long, slow breath into your belly making your buddy rise up, as you whisper “up.”
  • Breathe out even more slowly, feeling your belly and your buddy go down, as you say “down.”
  • Close your eyes and continue this slow breathing for several minutes allowing yourself to rest and relax.
  • Notice how your body is feeling after doing this deep breathing for a few minutes.

It’s ok if your child falls asleep while doing this exercise.

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