Here are 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.
They can repeat this three times.
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.
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.
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 and needs help to relax. 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.
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Ben Jackson is a registered counsellor, coach, and lecturer with nearly 10 years of professional experience. He helps clients with stress and anxiety, anger management, self esteem, confidence, and depression.
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