We would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new member to our Switchseven team. Welcome Fiona. She is a qualified Relax Kids Coach and is also experienced in Mindfulness.
What is Relax Kids?
Relax Kids aims to give children access to a variety of simple, yet effective techniques for relaxation, mindfulness and stress management that are developed in a fun and creative way. It gives children and young people the tools they need to help manage stress and anxiety, to be more resourceful when facing the challenges of daily life.
So how does it work?
The brain is incredibly complex, but the triune brain theory is the simplest way of understanding the brain and how it can explain and relate to our behavior. In order to help children and young people be better prepared for learning it is helpful to know these three key areas of the brain.
Many children and young people struggle to focus and concentrate through no fault of their own, as adults our expectations must be in line with the needs of the children and young people.
Through an understanding of the brain we can teach children and young people the necessary skills to help them achieve their true potential. Relax Kids provides steps to relax and calm the mind and body, preparing children and young people to be ready to learn.
Let’s look at the 3 key areas of the brain
The Amygdala (Meerket)
This is our internal alarm centre which keeps us safe. This part of the brain is very reactive and whenever we feel under threat and upset it sends a message which releases adrenalin and cortisol, this is the fight, flight freeze response. It is important to know our brain reacts the same way to a perceived threat as it would to a real threat and feeling threatened can mean many things to different people. When we are in a state of fear we cannot think of anything, our attention and focus is on survival.
The Hippocampus (Elephant)
This part of the brain stores memories and how things made us feel. This is very important because it’s how we associate relationships, objects, sounds, smells, places and how they made us feel. It has a big impact on how we store information.
The Prefrontal Cortex PFC (Owl)
This part of the brain is the most evolved and it is where we do our thinking, creating, organising, problem solving, imagination and language. This part of the brain is not fully developed until we are about 25 and slightly older for men. It is not fully online when we are young and needs lots of help and support from caring, calm adults to be responsive and attuned. Here’s the catch, in order for us to fully access the prefrontal cortex the amygdala has to be calm! We cannot fully access the PFC when we are stressed, upset and feel threatened.
Through Relax Kids techniques we help children create the right environment in their bodies which helps calm their minds and help them be in a place where they are ready to learn.
Helping schools, educators, parents and carers understand that anxiety is not just intellectual but starts in the body, is essential to the key role Relax Kids plays in the well- being of children and young people. The physical symptoms of anxiety will preoccupy our minds, interfere and interrupt our ability to focus, concentrate and inevitably lead to unhappiness. Relax Kids can help strengthen the connection we all have to our inner sanctum, which will ultimately help us feel happier and more at peace. Relax Kids helps us connect to ourselves become more aware of internal working model and learn the tools to navigate through life.
We use a unique 7 step system to teach relaxation to children – taking them from a high energy to a low energy. The system includes:
Movement and dance, relaxation games, stretches, peer massage, breathing exercises, positive affirmations and visualisations.
Children have fun exercising and playing games and stretching. They then practice massage, breathing exercises, say their positive affirmations before lying down and relaxing.
Movement and Warm up
Improves circulation. Releases endorphins. Boosts energy. Develops flexibility, coordination, balance and strength.
Encourages social interaction. Improves communication, cooperation. Develops confidence and self-esteem. Develops language and social skills
Improves circulation and boosts immune system. Promotes balance and mental calm . Sharpens concentration. Decreases tension
Lowers stress levels and relieves tiredness. Helps relax muscles and calms the nerves. Promotes better social contact, respect and communication. Improves circulation and stimulates lymphatic system
Brings energy to the respiratory system. Calms the nerves. Develops concentration and clarity. Helps reduce anger, anxiety and stress
Promotes positive thinking. Develops self-confidence and self-esteem. Improves emotional resilience
Improves concentration, listening skills and memory. Improves mental and emotional health. Promotes deeper sleep. Develops imagination and creativity