Today I bring you some techniques to help children relax, calm anxiety, tension, stress, anguish and attract positive emotions to their day. There are very simple techniques that can be implemented with your children, nephews, grandchildren, students, patients.
Relaxation helps children to know their body (their reactions, discomforts, needs), emotions and to be able to self-regulate (acquire tools that allow them to control their emotions, behaviors, thoughts and adapt them to the environment).
Block of ice
I imagine that I am a block of ice and tense all the muscles of my body (I squeeze fists I close my eyes tightly, I grit my teeth, my feet are strong on the floor). Then I imagine that spring is coming and the block starts to melt, I relax my whole body, from head to toe.
Then I am again a block of ice ... and so I repeat it several times.
This exercise serves to distinguish how my body feels when I am nervous and how when I am relaxed.
My place calm
I close my eyes and try to move to a real or imaginary place that I like very much and reassures me. I imagine how the place is, what things there are in it, what colors it has, what textures, how it smells, what temperature has, what sounds I perceive. I inhale and exhale in that safe place until I feel calmer. After this exercise, the child can draw or write something about that place.
Learning breathing techniques increase self-regulation. With younger children you can practice exercises like: Blow the cake- breathe deeply and try to blow the candles of an imaginary cake with your nose. Balloon in the belly - I pretend that I have an imaginary balloon in the belly that inflate (inhale) and deflate (exhale) slowly taking care not to explode.
With older children you can perform breathing exercises like this:
I inhale in 3 and my belly is inflated, I hold my breath for a few seconds and then I exhale in 5 pushing my belly button towards the center.
This is a very simple exercise to put into practice in the family and encourage not only relaxation but the emotional connection.
Being kind is fun
I speak to myself in a very calm tone, like I am talking to some friend or someone I love very much. I can say acceptance phrases like "I'm feeling bad" or "I do not like to feel that way" and then putting my hand on my heart, saying: "I can calm down", "this happens to a lot of people", "everything is going to be well ", and others. These types of phrases help us to regulate ourselves in times of nervousness, anxiety or worry.
Remember that these words may not be the ones that help you, but you can surely find your own!
Looking for more? Check out our Dino World Sensory Play ebook ! We created this ebook to make it easier for parents to promote the learning and development of their children through sensory play. It has activities to play with a themed-based sensory box that you can build yourself!