We all live and move in an electromagnetic field of energy (aura). Our energy fields are constantly picking up information, feelings, thoughts and stimuli from our environment.
Children have open, porous energy fields and today’s children, who are highly intuitive, can be prone to sensory overload. It’s important to tell them that their sensitivity is a gift that helps them learn more about themselves, make positive choices and navigate their everyday world. With loving support, they can learn how to center and balance themselves when they feel anxious and on overload.
Here are some simple techniques that can help children release unwanted stimuli that collects in the field, so they can feel more relaxed and peaceful.
Three Magic Breaths
Tell your child, “Whenever you feel upset, scared or nervous you can go inside yourself and find a magical way to feel calm. Close your eyes and put your hands on your belly right below your belly button.
1. “Imagine a balloon in your belly and when you breathe in, the balloon fills up with air. And when you breathe out, the air goes out of the balloon and it gets smaller.”Let’s practice.”
2. “Now we’re going to take 3 magic breaths. Put your hands on your belly. When you breathe in, I’ll count to 8 as your belly/balloon fills up with air. When you get to 8 hold your breath.” (Count to 8 while your child hold his/her breath and you can experiment with a number that works best for them.)
3. “Now exhale/breathe out the air in the balloon until it’s all the way out. I’ll count again as you breathe in your second breath. And when you breathe out your third magic breath, you’ll feel calm, happy and relaxed. Every time you feel upset go inside and take your 3 magic breaths.”
The Figure Eight:
The right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body and the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body. When a baby crawls they are naturally integrating both sides.
Cross Crawl: Stand and march in place letting your arms swing naturally. This integrates both sides and brings balance.
Visualize the Figure 8: Children love to visualize. After having your child do the cross crawl physically by “marching” in place, tell your child, “There’s a “secret way” to feel calm, balanced and make your brain and body feel happy and relaxed.”
“Close your eyes and imagine a sideways Figure 8 going from one side of your brain to the other side. If you’re in school you can do this with your eyes open and no one will know.”
“You can even visualize the Figure 8 over your heart, your stomach – anyplace you want to feel centered and peaceful.”
For children (and adults) certain images can evoke a feeling tone in the mind-body system that brings calm, creativity, focus and a connection to your wise inner self.
Children enjoy choosing image(s) that make them happy: a deer, a star, a tree, a rainbow, an imaginary being, or their pet. They may also choose a color that symbolizes a feeling of peace and safety.
For example, if your child is nervous before a test, ask him to close his eyes and choose an image that can help him relax so he can focus and do his best. Before the test, he can take “3 magic breaths” and imagine his favorite image.
Children often love to draw their image. The key for children (and adults) is practice. The more you practice visualizing your image, the quicker your mind-body system responds. So if imaging a deer makes you feel centered, that image will become more efficient with repetition. It becomes an “anchor.”
Make it fun for children and remember that they may stay with an image for a while and then change it. Let them do what they feel is right for them.