I was listening to The Full Life podcast a couple of months ago where Amanda Weber shared the concept of the Rainbow Breath. I’ve been using it ever since with my three year old daughter to help her calm down. It’s been an amazing little tool.

First I want to share with you how we use it, then I’ll tell you exactly how to do it.

As three year olds do, sometimes my daughter gets a little excited. And by a little, I mean a lot. This kid has a lot of energy but when she’s hyper it’s as if she’s a pinball¬†ricocheting and bouncing off of everything in her path. ¬†Hyper activity sets in when she has sugar, when she’s overtired, and when she’s with other children.

I’ve tried pulling her aside in these extreme moments for a few deep breaths but she doesn’t have the patience for it. She just wants to keep bouncing.

I know a few deep breaths would help her calm down in these moments and prevent the pending meltdown.

The other common time that I attempt to calm her down with deep breathing is when she’s overwhelmed, frustrated, or crying. However, I haven’t had much luck.

Enter the Rainbow Breath.

To do the Rainbow Breath, breathe in as your arms go straight overhead. As you breathe out, arc your arms to the sides in a downward motion creating an imaginary rainbow.

Since introducing this to my daughter, I can finally get her to take deep breaths. She absolutely loves doing it.

I’ll say “Let’s do some Rainbow Breaths.” or “Can you show me how to do Rainbow Breaths?” and she’ll stop what she’s doing and enter into breathing mode. We usually do it together.

I have found that she responds best when I ask her to show me how to do it rather than simply telling her to do it. Kids want to help and it builds them up when they can teach you something.

We’ve been doing this for a couple of months and it’s been magic. Who knew adding a bit of visualization and imagination to breathing would have made such a difference?

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

What helps your child calm down? Let me know in the comments section below.