Yoga poses can be a great way to help kids calm down, but where do you start?
Kids can get overwhelmed by their emotions easily. When they are upset, the emotional side of their brain isn’t communicating with the rational side, which actually regulates emotions.
Whether they are stressed, worried, or got into an argument, figuring out how to successfully calm down is a useful skill they will use their entire lives.
Learning how to unwind from stressful situations can be tough, but knowing will help both you and your kiddos in the long run!
There are a few ways to calm down depending on the situation.
Breathing techniques are always a good choice, but telling someone to breathe when they’re upset doesn’t do much unless they actually know proper techniques.
Here are some good first steps to help kids calm down
- Make sure to calm yourself down first. You can’t effectively help your child if you are still upset yourself.
- Have them drink a glass of water. Most of the time when someone is upset, they forget to hydrate and drinking water is proven to reduce stress. By drinking water, kiddos get a chance to calm down and focus on rehydrating. Not getting enough water is actually linked to anxiety, attention span, and concentration!
- Validate your child’s emotions. Let them know that you accept their feelings and understand them. This isn’t agreement, but nonjudgement.
Yoga is another excellent idea because it gets you moving and focused on the task at hand! Calming yoga poses give kids a chance to relax and use other coping skills they have already learned or practice ones they haven’t.
Doing calming yoga poses actually triggers your body’s relaxation system by raising the hormones that reduce blood pressure and lowering your heart rate!
Stay on top of Stress and Emotions for Kids
Before we get into some great tips for calming down, here are some awesome things to do before your kiddo gets upset. Try these to prevent big emotions from overwhelming your little ones (and yourself)!
- Go outside! Being under the big blue sky has many health benefits for kids. Their fight-or-flight mode calms down, regulates a healthier sleep cycle, and relieves tension in their bodies. Check out my post here for more information on why being outdoors is great for kids.
- Listening to calming music will help relax and recenter yourself.
- Journaling can be great too. It lets kids express their emotions in a safe and secure way where they can work through their feelings before they get too overwhelming. Use Silk and Sonder as a daily mindfulness journal for you AND your kids.
- Talk to them! Let your kiddos know you are there for them and will listen. Even if you don’t agree, this will show your kiddos that they won’t be judged and builds healthy communication skills.
Listen to some calming music from these excellent videos on Youtube.
Mozart for Babies (Soft Lullaby Bedtime Music) by Baby Relax Channel
Happy Relaxing Guitar Music for Children by OCB Relax Music
Managing stress and other big emotions is an important process. Learning how to do this as a kid will help in managing stress for the rest of their lives.
Creating a healthy coping system will improve their ability to regulate and recognize emotions, which in turn will help them become successful humans 🙂
Mindfulness Meditation for Calming Upset Kids
Sometimes calming down when you’re upset isn’t easy and you need some different ways to relax. Meditation and mindfulness is a great way to start.
You can practice these techniques anywhere and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. Try some different mindfulness methods to figure out what is best for you!
Mantra: Mantras or affirmations are a tried and true method of meditation. Used for centuries and around the world, repeating phrases, words, or sounds can help you focus and relax. You can choose anything to be your mantra or affirmation, as long as it has meaning to you.
Here are a few mindfulness videos to get you started:
5 Minute Mantra Meditation for Beginners by Yoga with Kassandra
Easy Mantra Meditation for Kids by Loctus Child
33 Positive Affirmations for Kids Self-Esteem by SandZ Academy
Much like with mantras, guided meditations can help reinforce positive thinking and confidence. Everyone needs a little reminder to relax and deal with big emotions. You can use videos, apps like Headspace or Calm, or scripts you can find or write!
Here is a collection of guided meditation scripts you can use. You can also find other great mindfulness literacy lessons using books like the Great Kapok Tree and My Many Colored Days.
Mindful breathing is generally used in all types of meditation and yoga. It is essential to practicing mindfulness and a great way for kids to calm down while doing yoga poses.
You might be asking, “Why do I need to learn how to breathe? It’s just an inhale and exhale.” but learning how to breathe properly is key to practicing mindfulness meditation. It is all about intent, self-awareness, and thought! Doing this will help regulate emotions and reduce tension.
- Start by sitting, standing, or laying down in a comfortable position.
- Feel free to close your eyes or find a spot to focus on.
- Relax your body and release tension from your jaw, shoulders, and back.
- Take an exaggerated breath through your nose. I like to inhale for three seconds.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds before deeply exhaling through your mouth for four.
- Continue to breathe this way while you observe the way your chest moves with each breath.
- Think about how each part of your body feels as you do this. Pay attention to the sensations around you.
- You may want to use mantras or affirmations as you breathe. That’s OK! Do whatever feels comfortable.
- Pay attention to how you feel. Acknowledge and accept each emotion in your own time before moving on to the next.
- When you are ready, open your eyes or sit up. Recognize how much more relaxed and calm you are now!
Here are some other great videos for mindfulness meditation:
5 Minute Easy Guided Mindfulness Meditation for Kids by Happy Minds
3 Minutes Body Scan Meditation (Mindfulness for Kids and Adults) by Fablefy the Whole Child
Mindfulness Grounding Meditation for Kids by Kumarah Kids Yoga
Mindfulness and meditation can be practiced in many ways-these are only a fraction. You can also use candles, aromatherapy, and zen gardens.
Everyone uses different techniques and methods, so you have to find the ones right for you. Breathing is used in most, if not all, so I highly recommend learning how to breathe properly.
Mindfulness Crafts for Kids
Arts and crafts can be a good distraction for kiddos and also a way to help them calm down.
Having a dedicated art area, a crafting bucket, or some dedicated wall space can be a space for kids to go to and be crafty to help manage stress.
Yoga Poses for to Help Kids Calm Down
Kids like and need to move around. A few ways to get them to calm down using movement is through dancing, walking outside, or stretching.
Yoga is another method of relaxing and it is especially useful for kids. Not only is it a great way to calm down, it also reduces anxiety, stress, and boosts confidence. Try practicing with these wonderful and easy yoga poses to calm down with your kids!
Stand up with your feet together. Bend one knee up so the bottom of the foot rests on the opposite leg. Raise your arms above your head and press palms together.
Why-This pose helps kids get centered and relaxed while improving posture.
Still standing, place your feet next to each other. Raise your arms above your shoulders and bend like you are sitting in a chair.
Why-This pose helps kids practice balance, feel grounded and focus.
Warrior 2 Pose:
Begin standing straight up. Place one leg bent in front of you while the other is stretched behind. Raise your arms straight and parallel to your legs.
Why- This yoga pose helps kids feel confident and in control while building endurance.
Stand with your legs apart like the top of a triangle. Bend over at the waist and raise one arm above you while the other touches your foot.
Why-This pose helps stretch and release tension while encouraging confidence.
Downward Dog Pose:
Get on your hands and feet. Keep your legs and arms straight as you raise your bottom up.
Why-This pose increases blood flow and corrects posture.
Still on all fours, place knees on the ground. Keep your arms and legs firm as you arch your back up and look to the sky. Hold this pose before curving your back and looking at the ground.
Why-This pose will ease stress while improving balance and posture.
Sit on your legs and fold over your thighs. Place your arms straight out in front of you and put your head to the floor.
Why-This is a deeply calming yoga pose for kids to help them relax and remove visual stimuli.
Lay on the ground flat with your legs straight and arms on either side of you. Place your palms flat on the ground and close your eyes. Breathe.
Why-This pose decreases blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety.
Try these yoga videos with calming poses for kids if you are more of a visual learner.
Calm Down Yoga Sequence for Kids by Mindful Minutes
Yoga for Kids (Feel Calm and Relaxed) by Class Yoga Kids
Calming Yoga for Kids by Calm Corner with Little Yogis
Yoga Lesson for Kids on Emotions (Sometimes I Feel Like a Mouse by Jeanne Modessitt) by Kumarah Kids Yoga
Yoga and meditation are great ways to help kids calm down. They aren’t miracle workers though.
Talking can do just as much, if not more, to help your kiddo and encourage communication.
Validating their emotions will help them understand their feelings while also showing they can trust you to listen without judgement.
Use this kids yoga lesson plan on recognizing emotions to help get the conversation and yoga pose education going!
Kids can have a difficult time coping with the big emotions because they are overwhelming! Emotions can overwhelm even the most seasoned individual, so kids need all the help they can get.
Everyone gets upset and stressed at times, so knowing how to deal with those feelings is essential to building confidence and healthy coping and communication skills.
Use these tips and tricks when your emotions start to overwhelm you and learn how to manage your stress and anxiety is a healthy way!