Barriers to Learning & Well-Being

Factors Impacting Children’s Stress

Research studies confirm short-and long-term memory are compromised by stress and anxiety.
(Benson, Herbert, The Relaxation Response, 1975)

When there is a perceived threat or stressor in the environment, the body moves into hight alert – fight, flight or freeze mode and often presents as explosive, anxious, and/or inattentive behavior.

Distressed Body → Cortisol Release → Fight/Flight/Freeze Response

When stress occurs, if you are able to slow breathing within 10 minutes, cortisol levels will decrease. Rather than talking or reasoning, breathing techniques and yoga-based movement are the first line of intervention to use when children and teens are dysregulated.

Healthy Breathing Technique: Hoberman Sphere

Calm Breathing → Relaxed Body → Optimal Brain Function





Relaxed breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the body. (Hanson, R., 2007) This physically changes the brain’s neural pathways. Breathing techniques, yoga-based movement, mindfulness and guided relaxation, create a “relaxed-alert” state optimal for learning.