+ Back to School Anxiety? Teach Kids to Relax

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Experts at Duke University recommend “mindfulness,” a technique borrowed from meditation, to help nervous children relax, HealthDay News reports.

It is especially useful for children who are nervous about transitioning into the new school year.  It can also help them deal with academic and social pressures.

The following exercises can help young practitioners achieve a level of mindfulness:

  • Mindful breathing — Ask the child to take time in the morning and evening to pay attention to his or her breathing for 20 inhales and exhales.  Steady breathing has a calming effect on the body.
  • Mindful walking — After dinner, take a walk and pay attention to all the sights, sounds and colors.  Encourage the child to use this technique on the playground and at school.
  • Mindful listening — At the dinner table, ring a bell or play a note on a musical instrument to capture the family’s attention, then give each person a turn to speak about their day while the rest of the family gives their full attention, to encourage active listening.

Mindfulness helps kids recognize their thoughts, reconnect with their emotions and understand how that impacts their behavior.  Ultimately, if we can heighten awareness of our thoughts, we can modify our emotions and that changes behavior.

Says Michelle Bailey, a pediatrician at Duke Integrative Medicine

Making a transition, whether it’s to a new school, a new teacher or a new grade, signals change.  When adults are stressed, they often turn to smoking or alcohol or food to pacify emotions.  We need to teach kids how to handle stress in a healthy way.

Mindfulness helps kids recognize their thoughts, reconnect with their emotions and understand how that impacts their behavior.  Ultimately, if we can heighten awareness of our thoughts, we can modify our emotions and that changes behavior.

Mindfulness encourages children to live in the moment and not fret as much about future events.  In addition, practicing meditative techniques can help children sleep better, reduce anxiety and stay more focused.

[Note: many clinics and hospitals offer accredited, mindfulness-based, stress-reduction programs.]

source: HealthDay News report on Yahoo.com http://news.yahoo.com

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021   or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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