Kids that are stressed for most of their day (if not all of it) have trouble regulating their emotions which can result in symptoms such as school refusal, headaches, stomach complaints, poor focus and concentration, poor quality of sleep, nightmares, tantrums, meltdowns and angry outbursts just to name a few.  Teaching our kids what stress feels like in their body as opposed to what a relaxed, calm body feels like, is the first step in teaching our kids how to manage their own stress and anxiety.

Below is a script for a deep muscle relaxation exercise that will help our kids to realise this.  Script this for them at bedtime to help them drift off to sleep or use during the day as a reminder for them to get in touch with their bodies and emotions.  Once you have done it for them a few times they should be able to do it on their own.  You can shorten the length of the script by leaving out body parts or lengthen it by adding other body parts in or repeating body parts 2-3 times.

Let’s begin.

Make yourself comfortable lying down.  Make sure there are no distractions.  All phones and other devices are switched off.  Take a deep breath in and then, breathe out.  Repeat this several times if needed to centre and calm yourself.

On your next breath in I want you to squeeze your feet muscles as tight as you can and as you breathe out, release the muscles in your feet and release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

With your next breath in, squeeze your calf muscles really tight and as you breathe out, release the calf muscles and release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Next, I want you to breathe in and squeeze those knee muscles as tight as you can and as you breathe out, release the knee muscles, release the tension.

Take a big deep breath in, and breathe out.

On your next breath in, we are going to work on the hips and buttocks.  Breathe in and squeeze those butt cheeks as tight as you can and as you breathe out, release the muscles, release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Next is the stomach.  Breathe in and squeeze those tummy muscles really, really tight and as you breathe out, release the muscles, release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Now we move into the chest.  Breathe in and squeeze those chest muscles as tight as you can and as you breathe out, release the muscles, release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Fists.  I want you to make little fists of fury so as you breathe in squeeze those hands into little tight fists and as you breathe out, release the muscles, release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Arms.  Breathe in and squeeze those arm muscles as tight as you can and as you breathe out, release the muscles, release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

We will move into the shoulders now so as you breathe in, squeeze those shoulder muscles up to your ears and as you breathe out, drop those shoulder muscles into the bed or floor below you and release the muscles, release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Next, we will work on neck and jaw so as you breathe in, clench those teeth together as tight as you can and as you breathe out, release the muscles, release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Face.  On your next breath in squeeze those face muscles and make the ugliest face possible, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze and as you breathe out, relax your face muscles and release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Forehead and head.  I want you to make as many wrinkles in your forehead as you can, so as you breathe in, squint your eyes and stretch those forehead muscles and as you breathe out, release the muscles and release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Only two more to go now.

If you still feel any tension in any part of your body then I want you to breathe in and squeeze that part of your body now and as you breathe out, release the muscles, release the tension.

Breathe in, and breathe out.

Last one.  Breathe in and squeeze your whole body, squeeze every tiny little muscle you can and as you breathe out, release the body and release all the tension.

You should child should now be feeling “loosey goosey” and ready to sleep or to face the rest of their day.

Audio/Video clip will be available later this year on my YouTube channel.

Kim X

© copyright.  May not be reproduced without acknowledgement to the author.  Written by Kim Norton 18th September 2018.  

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