Create a relaxation collage with your child. I like to explain that just looking at serene, tranquil pictures can calm our bodies and minds. There’s even research out there that shows that just by looking upon tranquil scenes or even other people relaxing and meditating, that our bodies can relax.
This is because the brain really can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality; it creates feelings based on thoughts. So, if we feed the brain relaxing thoughts and tranquil scenes, our bodies and minds actually begin to relax, regardless if we are actually doing the meditation or not. Now, this is not to advocate for not actually practicing meditation or relaxation activities, it’s about adding peaceful pictures, calm scenes, and tranquil ambiance to our everyday life, in addition to, your actual practice. We can help kids surround themselves with peace by helping them focus on scenes, items, or experiences that they find peaceful.
We recently created relaxation collages in my small group at school. My daughter gave me this idea. Always an avid collage maker, she sent me a picture of her most recent collage one day and shared how the event of making a collage really helps her to calm her busy mind.
So, not only are we focusing on relaxation images while making the collage, but we are relaxing the mind through the process of making the collage itself! Double relaxation bonus!!!
Gather a bunch of old magazines that have the potential for peaceful images, (I like Travel & Leisure, Yoga Journal, Oprah’s O Magazines and other spiritually-oriented magazines). Set the space by relaxing and getting present in the moment with a few deep breaths. Put on some calming music. And invite your child to go on a search for images that he finds peaceful. (It’s important to provide magazines loaded with peaceful images so those are the options to choose from).
Once you have your quiet ambiance set, begin creating. I also asked students to write peaceful words if they wanted to. They assured me that they were going to hang it near their beds so that they were reminded to relax and to take deep breaths and think peaceful thoughts before bedtime.
Relax alongside your child and create to your heart’s content. Enjoy. Breathe. Allow time to stand still. Open to the present moment and let that be the only moment that matters. Relax. These are the times where connection is ripe for blooming.