The first few seconds of this short film sees a series of six-year-olds delivering insightful, self-aware descriptions of big emotions. They describe the build up of anger, the mental processes and physiological reactions – in everyday terms and with eloquent metaphors.
And then comes mindfulness. These startlingly mature kids explain a simple process of taking a few deep breaths and letting everything slow down. They talk about how they ride out their feelings in a conscious way – through breathing and meditation.
Completely unscripted, Just Breathe came about when the filmmakers’ son was taught social-emotional tools as part of his elementary school curriculum. Through the innocent, pure voices of their young son and his classmates, filmmakers Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman show how powerful such simple mindfulness instruction can be – for people of all ages. The film inspires a picture of a world in which children learn how to deal with anger and other big feelings before they reach their teenage years – and perhaps teach their parents a thing or two, too.