1. Play relaxing music
Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on a child’s physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate and decreasing the levels of stress hormones. Music, in short, can act as a powerful anxiety reducer and help children regain focus.
2. Exercise regularly
For both adults and children, exercise is always a great way to relax. It’s very important to motivate children to exercise with activities such as running, swimming, dancing or any kind of sport. Choose something you can do together and you’ll encourage them to see exercise as a good thing from a young age.
3. Laugh together
Don’t underestimate the power of a good laugh! Laughter is a great stress reliever that relieves tension and helps our body relax. One study suggests that healthy children may laugh as much as 400 times per day, while adults tend to laugh only 15 times per day. For this reason, is important to find ways to make them laugh which will allow you to laugh together. It can be by telling jokes, making silly faces, or watching a funny television program.
More and more people are turning to meditation and yoga as an effective technique for stress relief. What you may not know is that this works for kids as well as adults. Most parents think their child is incapable of sitting still and being quiet. However, if you lead by example, your charge will become curious enough to try it for themselves. Meditation is a simple practice, and incorporated daily, will be a tremendous asset to their well-being.
5. Practice mindful breathing
Deep breathing is proven to be an effective way of helping the body’s natural response to stress. It slows down the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and provides a feeling of being in control by bringing you into the present. This relaxation technique is recommended for people who experience anxiety or panic attacks: simply breathe in deeply through the nose; hold the breath for a moment; release it slowly through the mouth. Close your eyes if that helps. Guide a child through this practice when you see them becoming overly emotional and encourage them to do this when needed on their own.
6. Try visualization
This technique uses the imagination to slow down the incessant chatter of the mind and help release negative thoughts or worries. But how do you do it with your children? Start simple and tell them to imagine a favorite color or soothing sound, a special aroma, or the feeling of warmth and light. Then, ask them to imagine breathing in that color or feeling. Ask them how they feel and encourage the idea of it bringing peace throughout their bodies. At first, it’ll be a challenge to keep them focused. But once they’re committed to the visualization exercise, they’ll feel calmer.
Stretching is essential because it relaxes built-up tension in the muscles. You can teach your child how to gently stretch each muscle group, without hurting themselves, so that it becomes a familiar and unconscious practice when they feel anxious. Stretching can also be a fun activity that distracts kids into calming down. By the end, the child will feel calmer despite their earlier restlessness.
8. Take a walk in nature
With our daily routines and hectic schedules, adults can oftentimes be so busy shuttling kids from school to recitals and playdates that days can go by without spending time in nature. This imbalance needs to be addressed as all of us need to come into regular contact with nature to feel balanced. Children are no exception. If you notice your child is more tense than usual, take them for a relaxing walk in nature. The fresh air and small wonders around them will benefit them more than you can know.
9. Cook together
Many of us enjoy the familiar task of cooking as a way to relax after a long hard day at work. Cooking is a great stress reliever and an effective way to focus the mind. Believe it or not, adding your child to the process will make it more enjoyable for you and is a great way for them to relax any worries they might have through a collaborative, engaging activity.
Of all our suggestions this is the easiest. Who doesn’t love to cuddle? Encourage your children to cuddle with you, each other, or with a loving pet. The interaction lowers blood pressure and decreases stress hormones. It also teaches them to be affectionate which is a great way to bond with others throughout their life.
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