You may have noticed that stress, anxiety and worry don’t wait for you to have a nice quiet space to be able to relax and meditate. It’s the same for children as it is for adults, yet children are more often than not at school when these feelings can overcome them. What can they do to calm down quickly and relieve the built-up anxiety?
Here are my top 5 suggestions that you can share with your child to help them relax and regain a mindful balance. Get them to learn one or two so they have them in their mind for those SOS moments.
Tip #01 A mug of hot chocolate
- They can imagine holding a mug of hot chocolate
- Blow on it three times
- Then take three long sniffs, smelling the hot chocolate
They can repeat this three times.
Tip #02 Breathe deeper
- Stay seated and with their eyes closed, they begin to notice their breath.
- Feel it all the way to the end of the inhalation and then all the way to the exhalation.
- At the end of the inhalation, they pause for a second then breath out. Repeating this with the exhalation.
- At each pause, they can say in their head, “Calm”.
Tip #03 Daydream
Your child can look out of the window to something far away and begin to notice what they see. They can concentrate on what they’re looking at, allowing their mind to empty briefly from the anxiety and worry. If they find themselves distracted and pulled back to the anxiety just get them calmly notice it and, in a non-judgmental way, they bring their attention back to the outside.
Tip #04 Move
If they are outside, they can walk around for a minute taking a few deep breaths. Moving the body will activate different muscles and breathing pattern, helping to dislodge the anxiety or upset.
Tip #05 Power pose
As described by Amy Cuddy in her TedTalk, modelling a power pose can be a great quick fix to those feelings of worry. Though this can be done in a private space like a washroon cubicle, this needn’t be an exaggerated stance but subtly woven into their posture.
Simply pose like superman, wonder woman or a hero who they admire and feel they get some strength from. Usually this is the feet set far apart and hands on hips pose. Ask them to hold this for at least 2 minutes.
If the feelings diminish a little but not enough, then they you can ask them to simply look up.
While holding this pose it’s difficult to stay in the same state of mind they once occupied. It’s easily adapted if they are in a group by simply standing legs a little wider and shoulders back.
NB: This is a great one to do as part of their morning routine to set them up for their day. For example, while they brush their teeth they can stand a little taller, shoulders a little back and get them to notice how that feels.
There you have it. 5 fast fixes to bring some balance when your child feels overwhelmed with anxieties or worries. Try them out and see what works and feels best for them.
Don’t forget, these are suggestions and can be mixed together to increase their potency even further.
Would these work for you? Or have you other techniques that are successful? Let me know.
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