Even at a young age, children can experience stress and anxiety. From the pressures of school and extracurricular activities to household issues, many children struggle to cope with the stress they are experiencing. The Kangaroo Forest has compiled a list of tips for helping your child manage their stress and practice mindfulness:
Breathing exercises are one of the most effective ways to relieve stress. When we are stressed, our brains release the “stress hormone” known as cortisol. With increased cortisol levels, we may experience an accelerated heart rate and high blood pressure. Slow, deep breaths can actually send a message to the brain to calm down. If your child is experiencing stress, find a quiet place for them to sit and set a timer for one minute. Ask your child to slowly inhale through their nose for four seconds, hold the breath for a moment, and exhale through their mouth for seven seconds - they should repeat this process until the minute has passed. During this time, ask that they take notice of any feelings or sensations they’re experiencing.
The five senses
When we are experiencing anxiety, it often stems from fear of the future or a potential outcome. Therefore, to experience relief from our anxiety or stress, we must find ways to bring ourselves back to the present moment. Making use of our five senses can provide this presence! Ask your child to stop what they’re doing and identify the following:
Five things they can see
Four things they can feel
Three things they can hear
Two things they can smell
One thing they can taste
Mindfulness practices all have one thing in common: these practices allow us to drop out of our minds and into our bodies. Mindfulness practices allow us to release any stress-inducing thoughts and shift our focus elsewhere. Using coloring books is not only a fun way for your child to express themselves, but requires great focus and attention to detail. When coloring, your child is able to shift their focus from the source of their stress to the art in front of them.
At The Kangaroo Forest, our childcare professionals specialize in helping students manage and overcome stress and anxiety. Interested in learning more about our programs and curriculum? Contact us today!