Friday, March 16, 2012

Teaching Students the Value of Relaxation

Relaxation can be taught in the classroom but students need to know they can use this technique any time they are stressed. Use a calm soft voice, pronouncing the words slowly but not unnaturally. Listen to examples on the Internet and see if you can tell which voices make you relax and which ones are irritating. Start by teaching the difference between inhale (breath in through nose) and exhale (breath out through mouth).

Music is an incredible aid to relaxation. New research shows that slow music produces a relaxing effect and causes a decline in heart rate.

Some good music suggestions are:
Relax With The Classics - any in the series
Kim Robertson - gentle harp
The Mozart Effect - Heal the Body
Carlos Nakai - native flute

  • Find a place where you can have space to lie down. Lie down on your back, feet slightly apart, arms by your side. When you are comfortable, close your eyes.
  • Keeping your upper arms on the floor, rest your palms lightly on your stomach. Turn your attention to your breath. Breathe into your hands with easy slow breaths, feeling your stomach rise and fall. Consciously slow your breath down, making it smooth and deep. Continue focusing on your breath for few inhales and exhales.
  • Now bring your attention to the top of your head. In your mind, feel your scalp. Imagine it turning into Jello, releasing any tightness.
  • Now bring attention to your face. Begin with your forehead. Feel it turn into Jello, nice and loose. Now feel your eyes and your eyelids. Imagine the feeling as they become Jello. Continue with your chest and your jaw.
  • Now, turn your attention to your neck. Gently turn your head from side to side as the muscles release tightness. Breathe slowly and deeply and concentrate on releasing tension from your neck.
  • Let your awareness shift to your shoulders. Ask your muscles to release tension in your shoulders and start to sink into the floor like a wet noodle. Feel the tension releasing. Be gentle with yourself. Continue breathing slowly and deeply.
  • Next, move your attention down your arms and to your fingertips. With a deep exhale, release any tension that is stored in that area. You might feel like giving them a little wiggle.
  • Now, bring your attention to your chest. Breathe deeply as you sink deeper into the floor. Feel the tension leaving your body.
  • Next, turn your attention to your hips. Take few deep breaths and with each exhale, ask your body to release tension from your hips.
  • Continue with this through your thighs, calves, ankles, feet, and toes. Feel the stress leaving your body, replacing it with a sense of peace and calm.
  • When you have completed the cycle of releasing tension from all the parts of your body, continue breathing slowly. Be gentle with yourself. Feel the peace and relaxation flowing freely through your body.
  • When you are ready, bring yourself back to the present. Wiggle your toes, your fingers, open your eyes, and stretch gently.

Enjoy the sense of quietness and relaxation in your body. Return to this muscle relaxation technique often. With each practice, your relaxation will deepen.


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