"Peace is always beautiful"

Walt Whitman

Teach them relaxation techniques to children is a gift for life: provides a foundation to regulate your energy and emotions, improve your physical well-being and mental health, sleep better, and combat issues such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

The ability to relax also has an impact on the academic performance, behavior and concentration of the little ones: a relaxed child has space for reflection and critical thinking, is able to reason in a more constructive and positive way, to build healthier and stronger relationships and interact in a healthier way with their environment.

By practicing relaxation exercises in the classroom, children also learn to face stressful situations, eliminate harmful postures, feel, control and listen to their own body, promote adequate breathing and establish quality relationships with others.

Relaxation methods for children can help them avoid tics, control nervousness and better control their muscles, as well as improve body proprioception, the sense that allows us to perceive the location, movement and action of body parts.

Deep breathing

relaxation for children

The available scientific evidence maintains that deep breathing, which disciplines such as yoga have been proposing for thousands of years, is loaded with health benefits.

It can reduce blood pressure, increase calmness, stimulate the lymphatic system, relieve pain, increase energy, improve digestion, benefit the immune system, and combat stress and anxiety.

Deep breathing also reduces heart rate, the body's cortisol levels, and improves attention . Correct diaphragmatic breathing also guarantees better oxygenation, a slow and balanced rhythm, and avoids unnecessary fatigue.

This is one of the simplest relaxation techniques for children, and one that they can learn from a very young age, at just 3 or 4 years old.

To put it into practice, the following must be done:

  • The first thing is to breathe normally to perceive your breathing.
  • The child can place one hand on the abdomen - above the navel - and another on the chest.
  • The child should breathe deeply through the nose, slowly and gently, bringing the air to the abdomen, where one of the hands is.
  • The child should exhale deeply through the nose - it can also be done through the mouth - feeling the hand on the abdomen lower, as it deflates. The child can imagine that he wants to gently blow out a candle.

To make it more effective, children can practice the position lying down or sitting in a comfortable position. Instead of hands, they can put their favorite stuffed animal on their abdomen to try to make it go up and down.

A variant is to practice box breathing, based on these steps:

  • Breathe deeply while counting to four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of four.
  • Exhale for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of four.
  • Repeat the process several times.

Progressive muscle relaxation

children's muscle relaxation

As David de Pardo and Martina Charaf (2000) explain, the technique consists of the tension and distension of the muscles. Among the benefits of progressive muscle relaxation for children , it can reduce stress, reduce heart rate, reduce pain, improve rest, help muscles, release accumulated tension and improve your mood.

It is also a very easy method to teach children. To do this you have to find a comfortable position - which can be sitting or lying on your back.

It involves squeezing the muscles in a specific area of ​​the body for between 5 and 15 seconds, relaxing them right after and concentrating on the tension that moves away from the body . Ideally, exhalation coincides with muscle relaxation.

You can start with the face and work your way down to other muscle groups. In this order, shoulders, arms, forearms, hands, chest, back, trunk, thighs, legs and feet.

Another possible way is to start at the feet and work your way up.

This is the first phase: in the second the child can mentally review - with guided help from the adult - the muscle groups to perceive that they are in a state of rest. For the third, you can conclude with a small guided relaxation exercise.

Progressive muscle relaxation is an excellent activity to practice before going to sleep and thus benefit the quality of sleep.

This technique is especially recommended for children from 8 or 9 years old, although it can be practiced earlier. It is advisable not to do it in isolation, but to integrate it as a constant in the routine.


children's visualization

From Educrea they describe the visualization technique in a very simple way. “It is nothing other than learning to relax and vividly imagine different things or situations in the most realistic way possible and providing all the details that we can include, while generating control of our emotions, sensations and behaviors.”

Science supports this technique, useful for inducing states of relaxation and well-being, coping with stress, developing imagination and enhancing creativity, focusing the mind or losing fear of the unknown.

In the case of children, proposing a guided visualization according to their age allows them to relax deeply, since their capacity for stillness and tranquility is more limited than in adults. It can also promote sleep conciliation, increase self-esteem, help control pain in the case of discomforts such as migraines and cope with negative emotional states.

Create a special environment for relaxation, and if possible, stimulate your five senses. There should be dim lighting, a comfortable space, relaxing music in the background and, if you want, a pleasant aroma such as incense or essential oils.

What you should do is lead or guide the child through a scene or a short story, providing all the details so that they can evoke them.

Some examples of visualization techniques are visualizing a fruit - describing the color, size, aroma when peeling it, its acidic and intense flavor, the rough feel of its skin or the sound when touching the segments; describe a landscape - for example, the waves of the sea, the smell of salt, the heat and texture of the sand, the singing of birds, the sun on the shoulders -, a guided meditation on the rainbow or a tour of its place favorite.

On the Yoga Maya Kids YouTube channel you can find a lot of guided visualization material for children: try the jungle, the sea adventure, the giant tree or a special train.

Children can practice this technique from 7 or 8 years old. From 9 onwards they will be able to put into practice longer and more complex guided meditations.


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