We often think of childhood as a carefree time of fun and games. But the truth is that kids get stressed too! Especially today when kids are deluged with activities and school expectations. It’s so difficult for kids to feel like they can get their heads above water.
You can empower your children with tools that will allow them to deal with stress both right now and when they are adults. So here are some stress busting techniques that are kid friendly, giving them some relief now, but also freeing them from stress in the future!
Active imaginations are a hallmark of childhood, but those vivid experiences can just as easily offer children pleasant or stressful emotions. But kids can learn to stop when they feel overwhelmed and to envision a peaceful scene. When your child seems to be spiralling out of control, invite them to share a moment of quiet imagination with you. Just sit quietly and think of floating on a cloud, or wading in the water of the ocean, or whatever peaceful scene is inviting.
This is a simple but powerful tool for combatting stress even in young children. When the world becomes overwhelming, teach your child to stop and do a “stress check” in which they mentally hold up a stop sign. Then they ask, “What can I do, right now, to stop this stress?” Often it’s an easy fix, it just takes that moment of reflection. This is a great technique for you too mum and dad!
Breathe it out
If your child can count to five, then they can use controlled breathing to lower the physical signs of stress. Count to three slowly while breathing in, then slowly count to five while breathing out. It’s important that the out-breath is longer than the in-breath, as this actually triggers the brain to lower stress hormones.