3 Essential Relaxation Skills for Kids with Anxiety

Ever wonder how to teach kids with anxiety to relax? Color, breathe, run, or something else? Research tells us there are 3 key relaxation skills that work to relieve the physiological experiences of anxiety. Keep reading to find practical and creative ways to teach these skills to your students or kids!

Anxiety Relaxation Skills for Kids

1 – Diaphragmatic Breathing

Teaching kids to slow their breathing and really pay attention to the inhale and exhale can help them to lower their heart rates and calm their bodies and minds. The act of simply paying attention to their breath serves as a distraction technique while the

Want to get creative with it? Try these breathing art activities:

Lazy 8s Painting Activity

Lazy 8 breathing: paint during lazy 8 deescalation breathing as a calming strategy. This is a great activity for a worry group or stress management group or for teaching calming strategies during classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling.

Controlled Breathing Painted Waves

Worry group activity: Teach your students to practice controlled breathing and then complete an art activity to help your students visualize the breathing pattern. Great for small group counseling or individual counseling to teach calming strategies!

Worry Monster Deep Breathing Activity

Worry group activity: Teach your students to practice controlled breathing and then complete an art activity to help your students visualize the breathing pattern. Great for small group counseling or individual counseling to teach calming strategies!

Learn more about easy tools to help you teach kids how to perform diaphragmatic or controlled breathing:

Want to teach kids controlled breathing exercises? Use these tools for fun, hands on activities that will make learning controlled breathing fun!

2 – Progressive Muscle Relaxation

In progressive muscle relaxation, kids learn to gradually and systematically tense, hold, and release their muscles. This is a great skill for kids to learn because they can do it anywhere, even when they’re seated at school. Here is a great video from GoZen! to introduce the skill:

With my younger students, I introduce them to Betti Spaghetti, a student just like them who learns to calm her body with progressive muscle relaxation.

3 – Grounding

Grounding is all about helping kids feel connected to their current environment and surrounding, especially when anxiety is making them feel disconnected! Kids can use their senses to connect with the environment or do a room scan to notice specific things that are close by.

Check out these 10 grounding techniques to teach your kids and visit the post to download free grounding exercise cards.

Grounding technique cards: download 10 free grounding strategies to help kids with anxiety

Resources to Help Kids Who Worry:

Keep Learning:

How do you teach kids with anxiety to relax?

Leave your best tips to teach kids with anxiety to relax below!

Want to teach kids with anxiety to relax? Don't miss these essential relaxation skills for kids who are dealing with anxiety and worries! Teach kids coping skills for anxiety and worry in school counseling.
Want to teach kids with anxiety to relax? Don't miss these essential relaxation skills for kids who are dealing with anxiety and worries! Teach kids coping skills for anxiety and worry in school counseling.

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