Relaxation is a “state of being free from tension and anxiety”. When we are relaxed, we can easily replace negative and strict thoughts to soft and positive ones. It is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress. Indeed, it is a skill that we need to train our minds and bodies to do. Remember that as a skill, it only improves with practice. Therefore, be patient with yourself. Don’t let your effort to practice relaxation techniques become yet another stressor. If one relaxation technique doesn’t work for you, try another technique.
We all need time to relax – even kids. With so many school obligations to complete and after-school activities to attend, relaxation becomes vital. If you’ve never considered your child’s schedule or are concerned that your kid is overscheduled, it’s time to think about relaxation. Overscheduled kids are constantly doing something. Though it is done with good intentions, you could be putting too much on their plate. You could be leaving no room for relaxation.
It is important to explain to a child what relaxation really is and the need for it. It’s a time when your child doesn’t have to be anywhere or do anything. What we need to do is to help children recognize their bodies and feelings. They might be overwhelmed and need help to get grounded. In that sense, we need to focus on relaxation instead of behavior management. Teaching children relaxation techniques certainly equip them to face stress wisely for the rest of their lives.
The Importance of Relaxation for Kids:
- It eliminates stress: Our brains need time to pause and relax. Relaxation lets kids do things they want to do rather than what they must do for a bit.
- It improves sleep: When kids have time during the day to relax, it can calm their minds to help them fall asleep later in the day.
- It improves school performance: With more relaxation and less stress comes the chance to do better in school. They may concentrate better in school if they’re not tired or stressed.
- It gives time for family and friends: They get the chance to socialize with friends or family. That’ll contribute toward improving social skills and reducing stress.
- It teaches kids to prioritize their time: They will recognize that their time is valuable, even the time they spend relaxing.
- Inspire creativity and free play: If kids play in an unstructured way during their relaxation, they’ll use their creativity and imaginations.
- It provides physical activity: Kids could experience an improved mood when they exercise.
Other Physical Benefits of Relaxation for Kids are:
- Slowing the heart rate
- Reducing the activity of stress hormones
- Slowing the breathing rate
- Helping them to naturally breath well by encouraging deeper breathing
How to Create a Relaxation Atmosphere for Your Child:
- Create a Reasonable Schedule: Freeing up your child’s schedule is the best way to eliminate over-scheduling. As a bonus, you get to free up your calendar when you don’t have to rush your kid from event to event.
- Let Them Play: Don’t force your kid to play, socialize or be creative. Instead, let them play or relax when it seems they need a break. Teach kids the importance of balancing a schedule and doing homework or studying after relaxing.
- Get Outside: Being surrounded by nature is relaxing, and there are plenty of ways for kids to head outdoors. You can have a picnic outside, gather leaves together, or go camping in the backyard.
- Play Music: You can burn off excess energy with fast, upbeat music or play music in the background during playtime. You can also listen quietly while cuddling or falling asleep.
- Encourage Physical Activity: Let kids play in the yard or take a walk as a family. You may also ride bikes and visit a local park.
- Enjoy some Calming Food: Eat mindfully, noticing how the food looks, feels, smells, sounds and tastes. Prepare, eat, and drink together.
5 Relaxation Techniques for Kids to Reduce Stress in a Kid’s Yoga Class:
1- Breath Focus: As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations. It is important to become aware of the breath. By directing our attention to our breath, we are paying attention to that moment, that is now. Our breath is with us all our lives. We can observe many things by feeling it. Whether we are tense, calm, or worried… When we observe the movement of our breath, we begin to become aware of our inner world and the moment we are in.
2- Mindfulness Meditation: This practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your mind’s attention to the present moment without drifting into concerns about the past or the future.
3- Guided Relaxation Stories: Guided relaxation stories for children do not only increase self-awareness and empathy but also it improves focus and prolonged attention span. Here are some guided relaxation stories for kids:
The Dream of MooMoo
My Magic Wand
Frederick by Leo Lionni
4- Mindful Movement: Kids Yoga, like adults’, combine rhythmic breathing with a series of postures or flowing movements. The physical aspects of these practices offer a mental focus that can help distract kids from racing thoughts. They can also enhance their flexibility and balance.
5- Yoga Nidra: During the Yoga Nidra sessions, you are systematically guided through each layer of our being. Yoga Nidra brings balance to each level of our being, mental, muscular, emotional, or spiritual and that is when true relaxation occurs.
As you see, relaxation isn’t just for adults: It’s important for kids and teens too. If you sense your child needs to relax, help him or her through these exercises. Better yet, get involved in these easy relaxation exercises with your child. This can help encourage self-regulation and relaxing behavior in your child.
Lastly, if you would like to see my Guided Meditation Scripts for Kids, please take a look at my shop.