How Your Kids Can Relieve Stress So They Process & Retain Information More Readily

Have you ever had a person’s name ‘on the tip of your tongue’? And…no matter how hard you try to remember, the harder it seems to become?

However, when you stop trying and relax, guess what happens? The name comes to you. Has this ever happened to you? Yes?

What about when you are taking an exam? Have you ever gone blank? Have your kids ever said that they went ‘blank’ in an exam? Once again, when you relax and stop trying, the information pops into your head.

Why is that?

Well, your brain goes into the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode. This is something that all of us have inherited from our caveman ancestors. Whenever they were faced with danger, their best survival strategy was to fight or run away.

When this occurs, the blood and oxygen are diverted from the upper part of your brain where your memories are stored, and ends up down in your muscles.

Your capacity to remember, concentrate, listen and observe is reduced. It is amazing that all these faculties are important to your child as a learner, aren’t they?

By dealing with stress, you are able to stop your mind from going blank.

Just like we are all aware that physical exercise is necessary to live a healthy life, mental fitness exercises are also vitally important.

So, how can your child manage their stress? How can they make learning easier and quicker?

OK, then what are some mental fitness exercises that you and your children can apply?

1)    Give yourself permission to relax.

This simply involves being aware that you are feeling stressed and say something like, “It’s OK. I can now chill out! I can overcome this problem.”

2)    Control your breathing.

When you’re stressed, your breathing tends to be shallow. Deliberately control your breathing so that it’s deep (into your stomach), long, slow and easy. This will give your brain a boost of oxygen.

3)    Use Relaxation exercises.

Apart from guided imagery, (where a voice guides you into thinking about a time when you felt relaxed and peaceful), another extremely simple method is called a cook’s hook Up. Google search for a description of this practical, easy – to – follow method.

4)    Do Regular Exercise.

Long walks, swimming, exercise bike, rowing machine, treadmill, cross-trainer or cycling are all excellent. Participate in any exercise that will get your heart rate up. The best way is to do it in intervals and this will vary with the type of exercise chosen.

5)   Listen to Baroque music.

The heartbeat of a relaxed person is approx 50-80 beats per minute. Baroque music is very close to this and so makes the learning easier and quicker. (You can use music in a variety of ways to help your kids learn. I’ll leave that information for another post.)

Final thought…Let me say that I consider stress to be a key to growth. An excellent book to read is “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. In their book, they remind us that to build strength in a muscle, we must stress it. The same applies to other parts of our lives.

Here’s what I invite you to do NOW:

Apply these techniques in your life and your children’s lives. If you make them a ritual, their lives will be enriched and they will sustain a higher performance.

By the way, do you know someone who would benefit from reading this post? Then you could let them know so they can use the mental fitness exercises as well, couldn’t you?

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