Emphasize relaxation skills
Emphasize Relaxation Skills
Relaxation skills training is intended to help participants assess their physical and emotional state during periods of both normal and elevated tension. With these skills children can become better aware of when they are experiencing emotions and frustrations that they need to control. The skills themselves can help children regulate their own emotions and behaviors. Furthermore, relaxation skills can be practiced regardless of the situation. For example, children can leverage deep breathing techniques to remain in control of their emotions regardless of the context (e.g., waiting in a frustrating line, communicating with a bully).
Specific relaxation skills taught by interventions in our evidence base include: breathing techniques, progressive relaxation, exercise, physical/muscle relaxation, positive self-statements, guided imagery, mental body scans, assessments of emotions, assessments of thoughts, focus on the participant’s five senses, journaling/drawing, and de-escalation strategies like counting to 10. For some interventions, the explicit goal of relaxation efforts was to reduce or dispel participant anger; for others, the goal was to build a positive, compassionate mindset. A subset of interventions used biofeedback monitors to help participants better grasp the physical manifestations (e.g., heart rate and breathing) of relaxed and non-relaxed states