Episode 03 - The Art of Breathing: Your Assessment Secret Weapon

Episode 03 - The Art of Breathing: Your Assessment Secret Weapon

Jan 11, 2024

Welcome to the Assessment Alchemist podcast, hosted by Tina Wiles, where we demystify the world of assessment and empower educators and students. In each episode, Tina combines expert insights, practical strategies, and inspiring stories to transform test anxiety into a positive learning experience. Whether you're a teacher, counselor, or education enthusiast, this podcast is your key to educational alchemy.

This week’s episode of The Assessment Alchemist is brought to you by My2tor CEO and standardized test prep expert Tina Wiles. In this episode, Tina Wiles shares her background and what Educational Alchemy means.

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About the Episode:

Episode 3- The Art of Breathing: Your Assessment Secret Weapon

Key Highlights:

  • Biology of Stress Responses:

    • Fight or Flight: Triggered by the sympathetic nervous system, this response prepares the body for perceived threats, leading to shallow breathing, increased heart rate, and heightened stress hormones.

  • Activating the Parasympathetic System:

    • This system counteracts the stress response, promoting relaxation and calming the nervous system. Deep breathing is a key method to activate this system.

  • Benefits of Deep Breathing:

    • Enhances cognitive function by increasing oxygen supply and reducing carbon dioxide levels.

    • Aids in emotional regulation, reduces stress and anxiety, and boosts self-confidence.

  • Breathing Exercises:

    • Tina introduces six diverse breathing exercises, each with unique techniques and benefits, suitable for individual or classroom practice. These exercises are designed to engage students and educators in proactive stress management strategies during assessments.

  • Breathing Colors: Inhale a relaxing color, exhale a stress color, visualizing the flow throughout the body.

  • Box Breathing: Inhale, hold, exhale, and hold for equal counts, creating a 'box' pattern.

  • Body Breathing: Breathe through different body parts, enhancing mindfulness and body awareness.

  • Four-Seven-Eight: Inhale for four counts, hold for seven, and exhale for eight, promoting relaxation.

  • Belly Breathing: Focus on belly expansion and contraction to enhance diaphragmatic breathing.

  • Alternate Nostril Breathing: Inhale and exhale through alternate nostrils, balancing the brain hemispheres.

Closing Thoughts:

Understanding the biology of stress responses and learning to activate the parasympathetic system through breathing can significantly reduce test anxiety. The podcast encourages educators to integrate these exercises into their teaching to help students manage stress during assessments.

Magical Quotes From the Episode:

  1. "Deep breathing gets more oxygen to the brain. So, I like to say slowly and purposefully, breathing is truly the way to hack your brain and mindset."

  2. "When you do deep breathing, you will increase oxygen supply. And because we've been breathing shallowly with fight or flight, we need that increased oxygen to help with focus and memory and problem-solving skills."

  3. "By calming the nervous system, proper breathing helps regulate emotions like anxiety and nervousness, and it will help with self-confidence and basically just knowing that you can take control of situations."

  4. "As soon as you start controlling how you breathe, you're in control of something. Okay. So it can. That's why I always heard, like when people are in stressful situations, take a couple of deep breaths, Right. It's not something people say because it's what they hear other people say. Right. There are reasons that their breath actually makes such a huge difference."

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