Remember Compassion for Distracted Minds
One technique that can help with settling down at bedtime is a type of meditation called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR, for short). Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a relaxation technique that guides and directs focus on one body area at a time, first tensing the muscle and then relaxing it, to promote full-body relaxation (Anxiety Canada; Schwartz & Knipe, 2017).
This type of meditation has benefits that reach even beyond the bedtime routine. Helping children develop a habit of using PMR to settle can help with:
When learning something new, remember to encourage your children to go easy on themselves. It is normal to lose focus during PMR, and any meditation, for that matter. When this happens, remind your little one to gently return his or her attention to the muscle group, with kindness toward self, and continue on.
When Self-Doubt Rears it’s Head
Trying something new can be a little daunting for many people. It can even crack open the door for self-doubt to creep in. You know self-doubt, it’s that low voice that incessantly asks, “Am I doing this right?” or shuts you down with the louder “I can’t do it!”. Honour that little voice of self-doubt by using a guided PMR script. Check out the one attached, or listen to the audio version on Insight Timer.
Susan Guttridge is a trauma-informed Master level Counsellor with the clinical designation of Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCPA). She has 20+ years experience providing individual and group therapy.