Relaxation techniques for children
Children, like adults need to relax. We can teach relaxation techniques to our children and help them practice. Over time, they can use these as resources on their own if they are faced with a stressful situation. Here I have described the relaxation techniques as you can describe and practice them with your children. You can practice each technique in a calm and quiet place to start. Over time, your child will be able to use such relaxation techniques when they are not in a calm place so that they can learn to calm themselves down on their own. Each technique varies in length and can be used in varying situations. The deep breathing and meditation relaxation technique for example, could even be used during a class if your child is feeling overwhelmed on a test. Relaxation techniques can be used to help your child manage their anger (please see how to help your child learn to manage their anger).
Find a peaceful and quiet place to practice visual relaxation. Close your eyes. Take deep breaths by breathing in through your nose all you can and breathing out through your mouth slowly. Think of a happy and calm place that you like. Imaging yourself in that peaceful place. What do you see? What noises do you hear? Are they loud or soft? Do you smell anything in your peaceful place? How does it smell? Imagine touching something in your peaceful place. How does it feel? Are there any tastes? Hold on to this peaceful place, imagining yourself there and using all of your senses to feel your peaceful place.
Find a peaceful and quiet place to try physical relaxation. This should take about 15 minutes. Practice deep breathing as mentioned above in visual relaxation. Imagine you are making some lemonade and you need to squeeze some lemons for their juice. You hold a lemon in your right hand and you squeeze tight for 8 seconds. You slowly let go, letting the juice drop off of your finger tips. You grab a lemon with your left hand and you squeeze this lemon tight for 8 seconds, getting all fo the juice out, and you let the juice drip off of the fingers on your left hand for 8 seconds. Now you show off your muscles and you tighten up your right arm, showing off your muscles for 8 seconds, then you slowly release for 8 seconds. You let go and repeat on your left arm.
Now scrunch up your face and use all of the muscles in your face to scrunch everything up very tightly, hold 8 seconds and slowly release. Pull up your shoulders and try to touch them to your ears, scrunch tightly for 8 seconds and release slowly. Pull in your stomach and clench all of your muscles in your stomach and your back, tightly for 8 seconds and then you slowly release every muscle. Tighten all of the muscles in your legs and hold for 8 seconds, then slowly release every muscle. Lastly scrunch up and tighten every muscle in your feet, in your toes and release; imagining every tension and every problem flowing out of you through your feet. Your body is completely relaxed and at peace.
Deep breathing and meditation
This should take a few minutes and requires a quiet peaceful place to practice. Practice deep breathing as described under visual relaxation for 3 or 4 breaths. Chose an object, sound or mental image to focus on. Hold that image in your mind or focus on that sound or object. You should think only about this one thing right now. If any thoughts try to come to you, imagine them floating away in a breeze. Hold onto your concentration of this focus point for as long as possible, blowing any irrelevant thoughts away.