Breathing exercise 7/11

It’s believed that breathing exercises can have a profound effect on our mind and mental state. By regularly using breathing exercises when they feel stressed, overwhelmed or anxious, students will feel more equipped to face life’s challenges.

Year Level



5 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-management

Learning Intention

Students learn how to do a mindfulness activity using breathing and counting.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • understand how to practise a mindfulness activity
  • do the breathing exercise by themselves.
Activity 01

Instructions 5 min

  1. Explain to students that practising breathing is a mindfulness activity that will help them if they are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or panicked.
  2. Ask students to get comfortable and then to concentrate on their breathing. This may be at their desk or somewhere in the classroom.
    • Instruct students to breathe in, through their mouth, for 7 counts (teacher counts aloud). Alternatively, reduce the breathe-in count to 4 counts.
    • Students breathe out, through their mouth, for 11 counts (teacher counts aloud). Alternatively, reduce the breathe-out count to 4 counts.
    • Now ask students to try breathing using only their nose. Alternatively, repeat the instruction to breathe through their mouth.
  3. Count for several cycles before leaving students to practise.
  4. Explain to students that breathing mindfully helps to focus their attention. By focusing on their breathing, they can become aware of the mind’s tendency to jump from one thought to another. The simple discipline of concentrating on their breathing can bring them back to the present moment and help them to calm down, be present and feel peaceful.