Breathing Techniques to Calm

Visual guides for breathing techniques to help students self-regulate.

When to use: 

  1. Use as part of a self-management system. 
  2. Use to help focus. Use to help de-escalate. 


  • If you have a break or cool down area in your classroom, try posting the visuals there. 
  • Provide visuals to the home environment as well. 

How to teach: 

  • Show the student a calming breathing visual at a time when they are not upset. 
  • Model using the visual by tracing the path with your finger and following the instructions for inhaling and exhaling. 
  • Ask the student to practice using the visual, helping them move their finger along the path as needed. 
  • Explain how deep, slow breaths can send a message to the brain that helps the body relax, calm their mind, and facilitate emotional regulation. 
  • Tell them that this is something they can do quietly at any time during the day. 


  • Breathing Square
  • Lazy 8