Helping Children to De-stress

December 9, 2009


I find it quite ‘dis-stressing’ that so many children are suffering in this way but, according to a recent survey by the NSPCC, 1 in 3 school children are stressed.

They are suffering from two main issues: school itself and loneliness with not enough close contact with friends and family. Kids lives today are full of noise, activity and, sadly, pressure from their parents, their school and their peers. Bullying is one factor, but simply being overwhelmed by the demands put on them is also to blame.

You can see the results physically with problems like poor sleep patterns, irritability and over sensitivity, bed wetting, headaches, stomach aches and more and more we are seeing mental and emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, nervousness, anger and temper tantrums.

That’s all very well, as one of my great teachers used to say – understanding is the booby prize, it‘s what you do to solve it that matters. These have to revolve around helping to develop greater confidence, self belief and a more positive attitude towards themselves. There are many ways to do it, and finding a hobby that engages them is one way forward and certainly physical activity like sports and games are very helpful. What parents may not have considered is trying something like a special CD aimed at helping children relax

Marneta Viegas is founder of Relax Kids and has written 2 books of children’s visualisations and produced a range of children’s relaxation CDs for concentration, anger management, anxiety and worry, self-esteem and bedtime and are set to relaxing music.

Relaxation is vital for children’s health and well being with just a few minutes a day helping young children feel calm and focused and ready to face their day. It can also help with sleep problems as it decreases muscle tension, slows the rate of breathing and reduces blood pressure. If your child is having problems concentrating then some relaxation techniques will help with that as it can improve their listening skills. This means they are able to listen and assimilate information, so giving them better problem-solving abilities.

Adults and children alike have their creativity and imagination blocked when they are stressed and by encouraging children to relax and take their minds away from their current situation and go on an imaginary journey they get a stronger sense of self-esteem and a feeling of self worth as they start to see their strengths and qualities in the quiet space of relaxation.

If you would like to try some of the relaxation tips out with children, or stressed adults, here are some simple ones to start with:

1 Lying on the back with hand on the stomach. Breathe in and feel the stomach rise, and breathe out and feel it fall back. Just concentrate on breathing in and out slowly to help let go and feel calm and quiet.

2 Again, lying on your back, or sitting in a chair, tense and relax the muscles of the body in groups, starting at the feet and moving up to the head to help feel calm and relaxed.

3 Visualisation can also help by closing the eyes and imagining floating on a cloud or lying on a boat and floating down the river or lying in warm sunshine and feeling the warmth in their body or imagine that they are sinking gently into soft sand.

If you would like to know more about this work, please visit

Health Bite for Adults:

Just to remind you, that adults too can benefit from relaxation and meditation techniques. A $3.8 million study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the US has reported that ) patients with coronary heart disease who practiced meditation had a nearly 50 percent lower rate of heart attack, stroke, and death compared to a matched group that didn’t meditate.

We already knew that meditation has been proved to reduce blood pressure, psychological stress, and other risk factors for heart disease, but this is the first controlled clinical trial to show that long-term practice reduces the incidence of heart attacks, strokes and improves longevity.



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