What are the most common stressors children face today? Exams! With so much riding on them, children are under increasing pressure to perform well at school, which leads to anxiety and in some cases, panic attacks and depression.
Stressed children and teens may:
- Worry too much
- Feel restless
- Complain of having headache and stomach ache
- Have trouble sleeping
- Get bored very soon
- Loose interest in food or eating more than usual
- Not enjoy activities that were previously enjoyed
- Feel gloomy and have a consistent bad mood
- Feel hopeless about the future
Role of Yoga for Kids
Luckily, yoga can help calm your kids down before their exams, as well as keep them grounded even after the stress of them has passed. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about practicing yoga with your kids to help them handle exam stress better.
A yoga class can be a fun way to spend time with your kids, and it’s an especially good idea if they’re feeling stressed about upcoming exams. Yoga has been shown to reduce anxiety by calming the mind and encouraging focus, which means that kids who have incorporated yoga into their daily routine are more likely to perform well on test days.
Plus, practicing yoga with them will show them how crucial breathing exercises are in the quest to feel more relaxed throughout the day, no matter what they’re doing or where they are.
Effect of exam stress on kids
Exam time is stressful for students as well as their parents. While most of us know how to calm down during such a situation, it's not always easy for our children to do so. It’s natural that they feel anxious because exams can affect their future. Exam stress can affect both children and adults. But for kids, it could do more harm than good. Not only will it affect their performance, but it could also affect their overall health.
Some of us may have experienced heart palpitations or high blood pressure during an exam, which is normal as long as you let yourself calm down afterward. However, sustained exposure to these conditions isn’t healthy for anyone – not even kids who are still at an age where they’re in school most of the time.
Breathwork for reduced exam tension
Yoga has been found to be extremely effective in calming both adults and children in stressful situations. Breathwork benefits are many and include reduction in anxiety levels, increased stamina and concentration ability (especially helpful during long hours of studying), lowering blood pressure, and overall improvement in health condition due to better functioning of the respiratory system.
- Yoga is a great way to relieve some of that tension, and you can make it even more effective by including breathwork.
- Yoga teaches kids about their breathing patterns and how they affect their overall health.
- Start them out slow—five minutes a day of basic breathing exercises will work wonders when they’re feeling overwhelmed.
And do it together! These activities are meant to be fun, so be sure you’re having as much fun as they are.
How does yoga help reduce stress?
Yoga is an ancient practice that helps us bring balance to our bodies and minds. Although primarily practiced as a way to relieve pain and relax, yoga also comes with many benefits for children of all ages. For example, regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce stress levels in adults and teens as well as improve emotional well-being. Yoga also makes it easier for teens to concentrate on their studies, making them better able to handle exam pressure.
With so many benefits associated with yoga, it’s clear why so many teachers are recommending yoga over medications to calm down stressed-out students. Kids should be taught how to control their breathing from a young age; breathing exercises like those found in yoga can make all the difference when faced with test anxiety. The next time you or one of your loved ones gets stressed out, try taking five minutes to engage in some gentle yoga poses.
5 Asanas children can do easily
1. Child pose:
Begin on all fours, making sure to keep your knees hip-width apart and aligning them over your ankles. Place a pillow underneath your forehead and relax your neck, head, shoulders, arms, and upper back down onto it. Stay here for a few breaths before returning to all fours.
2. Cat/cow Pose:
Starting on all fours again, alternate between rounding your spine like a cat (pictured) and arching it like a cow. Do five repetitions of each movement.
3. Tree Pose:
In tree pose, bring yourself into a standing position and shift your weight onto one leg. With hands-on-hips, shift backward until you feel like you are rooted to the ground. Stay here for 5-10 breaths before returning to a standing position.
4. Cobra Pose:
Lie flat on your stomach, placing your forearms flat by your side and palms facing down. Take a deep breath in as you press your chest upwards. As you exhale, release back down. Repeat 10 times.
5. Boat Pose:
Get down on all fours again. Keeping your lower legs parallel to each other and hip-width apart, sit up so that only your upper body is resting on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, return to starting position and repeat five times.
Power of breathwork for kids
Breathing is often overlooked as a valuable tool for calming ourselves down. But, what if we could use it to reduce our anxiety even before our first exams come around? By teaching your children how to breathe properly, you can develop their ability to calm themselves whenever they need to.
Using deep-breathing techniques, children learn how to slow down their nervous system and increase their blood flow. You’ll find that many breathing exercises are very similar between yoga and other relaxation methods such as meditation. If your child enjoys yoga or meditates already, there’s a good chance he or she will be receptive to these kinds of stress reduction activities too.
How does breathwork work?
When people practice breathwork (or just breathing exercises), they are usually trying to achieve one of two goals:
- A feeling of calmness or peace and
- An elevated state of consciousness.
Because breathing exercises work on both a conscious and subconscious level, they can have powerful psychological effects on mood, wellbeing, health, and behavior. In fact, many studies have documented yoga’s ability to reduce stress levels in both adults and children.
Common effects of Breathwork
Serenity and Peace, Greater Clarity of mind, Releasing Physical Tension and much more. Anyone can benefit from Breathwork. It’s especially beneficial for those who are working to rid themselves of unwanted habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol.
Additionally, participants report increased energy levels and greater capacity to exercise post-Breathwork sessions. Many people practice Breathwork as a form of self-healing.
The way forward
If you have a child of any age, odds are they’re feeling some type of pressure as exams approach. Some children may feel unprepared; others may feel like they don’t want to do well on their exams; still, others might be concerned about how their grades will affect college applications and/or financial aid.
Whatever it is, learning how to effectively handle exam stress in children can be tricky—particularly if you’re not sure where to turn for information and support.
Yoga has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve focus (not just during an exam but also throughout everyday life), so we highly recommend looking into yoga classes or local yoga centers that offer special yoga for kids programs. A yoga session, even if just once a week, can make all the difference during these crucial times.