As part of the Baby Mindful programme, we blow bubbles. Not the saliva-filled bubbles babies like to blow, but bubbles from tubs! They are fun, pretty, make a glorious "pop" as they burst, and babies love to track them with their eyes and, as they get a little older, reach for them, and try to chase them.
But we were reflecting in our class today about another purpose they have; they help us to control our breathing. In order to produce the bubbles, we need to take a deep breath, focus, and breathe out, slowly, steadily.
Controlling your breathing, exhaling in a slow, steady way, sends a message to the brain to slow the heart rate. It activates the parasympathetic response, which helps us feel calmer, more relaxed, reducing the flow of cortisol (the stress hormone).
It's a simple yet effective way to slow and control our breathing; feel calmer, stiller. And if you wanted to take it a little further, you could imagine your worries, fears or frustrations being in the bubbles and floating away. You don't even need an actual pot of bubbles; just use your imagination. Think of dipping your bubble wand into your bubble liquid, take a deep breath and blow out. Slowly, steadily, completely.