Stress affects everyone even children. From preschoolers to teens, anxiety and stress are a part of every child's life. From fear of the dark or monsters in the closet to coping with the pressures of school, peers and the SATs, each child experiences their own fears, anxieties and feelings of stress.
Generally, children are very open and receptive to learning relaxation techniques and the skills they need for stress management. Teaching your children these techniques and skills is giving them tools that will benefit them throughout their entire lives.
Top Ten Relaxation Techniques for ChildrenThere are many different techniques for relaxation and stress reduction that can be used by children. Depending on the child, certain techniques may work better then others. The following relaxation techniques are considered by many to be the top ten.
- Deep breathing is an effective way of slowing down the body's natural response to stress. It slows down the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and gives the feeling of being in control. This simple technique can be done by anyone, simply breath in deeply, hold the breath and release it slowly. Repeat the deep breathing until you feel relaxed.
- Progressive muscle relaxation is a wonderful relaxation technique that is accomplished by tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. Your Family Clinic offers excellent instructions on guiding young children in the technique of progressive muscle relaxation. Detailed instructions for preforming this technique for older children and adults can be found on the HypnoGenesis website.
- Visualization, also known as [[Free Guided Relaxation|visual guided imagery]], uses your imagination to calm and relax your mind. Children should imagine their favorite calm, peaceful place or focus on beautiful places. Encourage them to think of happy memories of loved ones. Visualization slows down the chatter of the mind and helps release negative thoughts and worries. Often this technique follows progressive muscle relaxation, which first relaxes the muscles and then calms the mind. A great technique to use with a child involves imagining their favorite relaxing color. The color should be one that makes them feel peaceful and safe. Have the child imagine taking in the color with each breath and sending it throughout their body as they exhale until they are filled with their special beautiful, relaxing color. A soothing sound, a special aroma or the feeling of warmth or light can be used in place of the color.Read more...