The magical tween years are not all fun and games. These change-filled years between ages eight and 12 are characterized by changes that can make your tween feel anxious and stressed. Intense hormones, academic stresses of middle school, social changes, and self-esteem issues can be too much for a tween to handle on his or her own. While stressful situations are unavoidable, if not addressed stress can be detrimental to your tween’s mental and physical health according to the American Psychological Association. How can you help your tween relax and learn to cope with stressful situations?
Here are 6 relaxation techniques to help you get your tween started.
Art Therapy Coloring
Your tween has probably known coloring for quite a long time. But what makes coloring so calming? Coloring will help your tween bring out his or her inner artist, mellow out and experience a sense of tranquility.
Besides, coloring is a simple pastime that takes a person outside himself or herself, as well as outside the things that are stressing him or her out. That way, your tween’s mind can concentrate on the present moment’s activity. According to Positive Psychology, art therapy coloring very much resembles a meditative exercise in this way.
Art coloring therapy will relax your tween’s brain and take away the problems of life from his or her awareness. The coloring can be as neat or as messy as your tween chooses, this is one of its calming benefits.
Deep Abdominal Breathing
Deep abdominal breathing sends a signal to your tween's brain to quiet down and relax. It is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety in your tween's body. The things that occur when a person is stressed, for example, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure all reduce as the person breathes deeply to calm down.
As well, such deep breathing facilitates full oxygen exchange. This increases oxygen supply to your tween's brain and excites the nervous system, which brings about a state of relaxation, as Harvard Health Publishing explains. Deep breathing workouts are easy to learn and you and your tween can practice doing them whenever you wish, and you do not require any special tools to do them.
If you have heard it once, you have heard it over and over again: regular workouts keep you strong, healthy, emotionally stable, and make you live longer. Studies show that moderate exercise for at least 45 minutes daily helps regulate stress hormones and positively affects how we feel, as the Anxiety & Depression Association of America states.
Regular exercise lowers anxiety, enhances mood, and will improve your tween's sense of wellbeing. Thus, regardless of your tween’s age or the point he or she is in life, your tween needs to keep his or her body active for not less than 30 minutes every day.
Help your tween to learn to work through chaos from the inside out through guided imagery. Imagery, also called visualization, is a relaxation technique that uses our thoughts to change how we feel and what our minds are focused on. Guided imagery is when you help your tween visualize peaceful settings to de-stress him or her.
Your tween can start learning this relaxation method by connecting thoughts and images in his or her brain with feelings and experiences. Your tween can practice this technique anywhere and at any time. He or she can do it simply because guided imagery is healthy and feels good. It can also help your tween face challenging situations such as an upcoming quiz.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Stress causes us to tighten our muscles, and the more we tighten them, the more stressed out they become. Releasing that tension through PMR can be a simple method to de-stress your tween.
According to WebMD, PMR makes your tween aware of the tension in his or her muscles and encourages him or her to start slowly tensing and relaxing muscle groups. During the exercise, your tween will move each muscle beginning from his or her toes and moving up to his or her head. By the time your tween completes the exercise, all of his or her muscles should be tension-free and relaxed.
Tweens, with their busy schedules, are well-known for missing sleep. Unfortunately, working or moving around in a sleep-deprived mood puts your tween at a disadvantage. He or she may find it difficult to study or be in a good mood.
Your tween will be better able to deal with the stresses of life if he or she is well-rested.
Why does cooking help kids relax? There's a growing body of research that explains just how beneficial mixing and chopping is for children.
About The Author