While you should follow the script as written, you can modify it to suit your needs. Don’t be afraid to just start ad libbing as you get more and more into the exercise. Try to maintain a calm, soft and soothing voice.
When You’re Ready To Begin:
Ok, sweetheart, let’s start by taking some warm up breaths. I want you to take a deep breath in….. hold it…. and let it go. Good job. Let’s do that again. In…. hold…. and out. Good.
Let’s keep taking deep breaths and feel how it relaxes you to breathe deeply.
Now I want you to squeeze your hands closed into fists. Just like you are squeezing a ball in each hand… hold it tighter…. and even tighter…. Feel how your muscles are tense.
And now relax. Let your hands go limp. Feel all the stress leave your hands… Now your hands feel relaxed. Feel the calm come right into your hands and all the stress run out. Good.
Remember to keep breathing. Breathe in and breathe out. Breathe in all the good, calm air and breathe out all the stressed air. When you breathe in, feel your chest and sides expanding, like a balloon filling with air. When you breathe out, imagine your body is like a balloon shrinking with the air being let out.
Breathe in through your nose, imagining your body expanding like a balloon…. and now imagine letting the end of the balloon go, and the air rushing out as you breathe out through your mouth.
As you breathe in this time, I want you to tense your arms. Make them tight, tight, tight. Feel all the muscles tense and hold it…. hold it…. hold it… and let go…
Feel all the stress leave your arms. Now your arms and hands both feel warm and heavy and very tired. Good job.
Now relax and feel your arms at your sides, while you continue breathing slowly and deeply.
Remember the difference between tense and relaxed. Tighten your leg muscles to make both of your legs tense. Squeeze tighter…. tighter… tighter….and now relax.
Let your legs become very relaxed. Each leg is as floppy as spaghetti.
Feel all the stress leaving your legs and all the warmth and calm coming in. Your legs feel heavy. The muscles are loose.
See how it feels to be relaxed. Your arms and legs are relaxed.
Now I want you to tighten your whole body, as tight as you can make it and hold it….hold it….hold it…and let go.
Feel all the tension leave your body. You feel nice and loose. Warm and heavy. And very calm.
Now let your whole body is relaxed. See how relaxed you can make your body…. loosening every muscle…. no tension at all…..
Your body feels heavy and relaxed.
Relax even more by noticing your breathing again. See how calm your breathing is. In…. and out….. in…. and out…
Keep breathing and simply relax. There is nothing you need to do right now except relax quietly.
See how calm and relaxed you feel. It feels good to relax.
If the child is ready for bed, let them lie still for a bit, reminding them to keep breathing. If they need to get up, ask them to wiggle their toes and fingers for a bit before sitting up. Have them sit up for a minute before going out to play.
Progressive relaxation is a great tool for both parents and children to alleviate some of the stress of the day, calm the mind before bed, and rejuvenate the spirit.
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