When a person is in crisis (stressed, anxious, mad, upset, etc), they tend to tense up their muscles. This is especially true with children.
Progressive muscle relaxation helps a person to relax and become more calm and in control. Research reveals that there is a reduction in the levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress when this strategy is employed.
Today, we will begin developing this strategy through a simple Squish and Relax routine.
Squish and Relax
– Have your child sit comfortably with a soft, squishy object. It can be a ball of play dough, a small stress ball, a small stuffed anima, etc. They are to hold this in their hands.
– Ask them to take a deep breath.
– Direct them to become aware of their body and instruct them to slowly move their awareness to the dough, noticing the sensations from their arms and hands.
– Tell them to squeeze tightly like they are trying to pick up a heavy weight. Have them hold this pose for a count of five, then relax.
– Repeat this cycle over a period of a minute.
– Repeat with other hand.
– Afterwards, discuss with the children how their bodies felt during and after the activity. What did they notice? How could this help them when they are angry, upset or anxious?
Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).