We all live, first and foremost, on the inside of our human bodies. But that doesn’t mean that rich inner life we all have doesn’t project itself outward into the everyday world. Quite the opposite: our emotional responses are hard to navigate at any age. Figuring out how and what you are physically feeling is particularly challenging when you’re feeling things like rage, sadness, disgust, and confusion for the first time. Heck, this particular Smart Girl is 29-years-old and I still have a hard time understanding what it all means. Sometimes, though, the best thing to do is just breathe.
Which is exactly what’s at the heart of the matter in this short from filmmakers Julie Bayer Salzman and Josh Salzman titled “Just Breathe.” In the 4-minute long video, the duo spoke to several young Smart Girls and Boys about how their emotions affect them and how they physically feel. But rather than just opening up the conversation — which is great and also, hint hint nudge nudge, part of what we’re doing with #BeEmotionalInsideOut — the duo show how helpful the practice of mindfulness is in keeping kids emotionally healthy.
From the short’s description, “the inspiration for ‘Just Breathe’ first came about a little over a year ago when I overheard my then 5-year-old son talking with his friend about how emotions affect different regions of the brain, and how to calm down by taking deep breaths — all things they were beginning to learn in Kindergarten at their new school, Citizens of the World Charter School, in Mar Vista, CA. I was surprised and overjoyed to witness first-hand just how significant social-emotional learning in an elementary school curriculum was on these young minds.”
How do you deal with your emotions when you’re upset? Have you found any tricks and tips that help you be emotionally healthy and honest? Let’s hear ’em in the comments (or on Twitter — but make sure to tag them #BeEmotionalInsideOut)!
Alicia Lutes is the Associate Editor of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. You can find her on Twitter @alicialutes.