Make Yourself Comfortable, Relax, Follow My Voice

Imagine a darkened classroom with twenty-some seventeen-year-olds laying on the floor nervously wondering what is coming next.  There is a little joking around and then it is time to get quiet.  The only requirement I have for the kids is that they lie quietly and don’t disturb anyone else.  The tape begins, there is a little nervous laughing and then it goes quiet. 


When your body is suffering from stress what do you to release that tension, to return your breathing to normal, and to give your mind a break?  There seems to be no age group that doesn’t suffer from stress these days.  I heard a discussion this morning about the stress levels in young children.  I know from my work experience that adolescents are handling huge stress loads and as a middle-aged person, there is still stress!


We all need to have ways to deal with our stress.  Sadly, this doesn’t come naturally to us.  Yesterday I wrote about stress week and our stuffed animal day as a simple way to bring a smile to your day.   Today we pushed back all the desks, the kids laid on blankets on the floor, and I played two different guided imagery relaxation ‘tapes’.  There are two main types of these.  One where you go step-by-step from your toes to your scalp tensing and then relaxing your muscles.  This technique is used a lot in sport, yoga, etc. and I think works really well for bodily kinesthetic learners.  Since I don’t like that kind I don’t use it.  The other type engages the imagination to see and feel images, safe places etc.


The first track we use is by Jim Folk.  In this routine you are led on a lovely walk through the woods, by a river, a waterfall etc.  I got it from  The second track is an awesome general wellness routine by Belruth Naprastack  from  This one goes through a series of images such as a light and a breeze glowing and blowing through your body.  Before the end of the first tape you could hear a little bit of snoring. 


Whether you pray, meditate, do yoga or tapes like these, we all need some time like this to practice calming ourselves.


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