If you’ve been following the Soothe the Stress posts, you know the first steps to relaxation. Teach them to your kids! No time like the present. The sooner you help them develop the capacity to soothe their own stress, the more practiced and prepared they’ll be for the as-yet-unimagined stresses they’ll encounter in their lives. And along the way, you’ll be helping them develop the emotional intelligence to recognize how they feel when they feel it, as well as what to do when those feelings are getting in the way of the good life.
Start with this: “As you lie in bed, focus your awareness on your breath, and let it fill your belly full full full! Now let your breath slowly slowly slowly out through your nose. Three times, and you’ll notice you’re feeling more and more sleepy. As you drift off to sleep, remind yourself that you will not only remember your dreams tonight, but you’ll dream about…”
Have your four year old who’s afraid of monsters in the dark imagine a magic sword in his hand, which, when pointed at said monster, lights him up and makes him giggle.
Tell your anxious teenager to put his problems on a stage, one at a time, while the audience (all him) and the director (him, too) come up with possible solutions.
Or tickle the arms of your anxious daughter while telling her to imagine she’s skiing down the mountain, fast and free and in complete control.
Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.