29th June 2020
Dear Wellfield family,
I hope you’re all continuing to smile.
We spoke before about deep breathing and how it is an extremely important tool in relaxation. No matter what kind of emotion you’re experiencing, if it’s a big one, and you’re struggling with it, deep breathing will help. Whether you’re angry, sad, worried, or something else, give it a go, it is sure to make you feel better.
I want to talk a little more about relaxation today, and taking it one step further. When we’re having a big feeling our bodies get super tense- try squeezing the muscles in your hands by making a fist shape, and notice that feeling. You’re feeling tense. When we’re having a big feeling, our whole bodies feel tense, and it causes lots of not nice feelings, like tummy ache and headaches- nobody enjoys those.
When we learn to relax our bodies, it sends a message to our brain, we are relaxed now, and the aches and pains start to get smaller, as do the big feelings.
I’m a huge fan of guided relaxation (sometimes referred to as progressive relaxation), especially for those of us who aren’t familiar with how to completely relax our bodies. As always, if you’ve worked with me before, you know how much I love this technique, and you will know how sleepy you feel afterwards- because your body is totally and entirely relaxed, without strain or stress.
Guided relaxation involves getting yourself comfortable, in a place that is quiet, where you are unlikely to be disturbed. You can either do this with an adult (or for an adult- as we get stressed too, believe it or not). Calming music should be played in the background (a quick YouTube search will provide tonnes), and the person joining you will read the relaxation script. The scripts can vary a little, so it is important to find the one you like (I’ve attached some below, but again a quick Google search will provide you with plenty to try out). The script will guide you step by step in relaxing every part of your body, and teach you to understand and notice when you’re feeling tense versus relaxed.
If you’d prefer, you can also take a look on YouTube for some ‘guided relaxation’, where the music and script is already there, waiting for you to press play and listen (again, see below for some links and recommendations).
I also highly recommend the ‘Calm’ app, though there are some recordings you have to pay for, there are also lots of free ones to take advantage of.
Once you have become familiar with it, you may wish to teach others in your home all about guided relaxation. It should be used as much as possible, the technique is brilliant for instantly calming you when you’re having a bit of a wobble, but the more you use it, the more you will be to able to stay in control of those big feelings, and the easier you will be able to calm yourself down. It is also brilliant to try it just before bedtime, as our bodies are totally relaxed and ready to rest- so definitely try that if you find yourself doing lots of worrying instead of sleeping.
Give it a go, and have the most wonderful weekend,
This is a personal favourite from Therapist Aid, if you’d like to give it a go.
Try this guided meditation from New Horizon.
Or this progressive muscle relaxation video.
Try this music in the background if somebody is
going to read a script for you.