“A great deal of our physical and mental troubles are due to the fact that we don't breathe correctly. Life and breath are synonymous. Life is breath"
—Indra Devi, international Yoga expert, 102 years of age

Imagine… Children Managing Stress
by Lori Lite as seen in Stressfree Living Magazine

For 2,000 years ancient Indian and Chinese breathing techniques have been considered to be a powerful tool in achieving good health and enlightenment. Ancient Yogis believe that slower, deeper breaths guarantee long life and good health. The symbolic tortoise demonstrates how a life of moving slowly and breathing deeply can have you celebrating the age of one hundred. Could the tortoise maintain it’s healthy, long life if it was exposed to the same stressors today’s children are facing?

Imagine children counteracting the stress and trauma of today’s world.

Today’s children are exposed to unprecedented types of stress. Children are aware of events like terrorism, kidnappings and sniper attacks. Obesity and ADHD are considered to be a national epidemic and bullying tactics have reached new heights. Incidents of child and teen suicide have seen record numbers.

Achievement oriented parenting has placed extra demands on our children. Today’s children are running a stressful race that never ends. Pressure to excel at home, school, sports and extra-curriculum activities creates a constant high-stress environment with no down time. The child that manages the most activities while completing homework and maintaining high grades wins. But what do our children win at the end of the race?

Stress has been attributed to health issues ranging from high blood pressure to depression. Children’s stresses can be as simple as arriving at school to find a substitute teacher for the day or as complex as being exposed to a violent image or experience. Stress related symptoms in children can include but are not limited to unusual clingy behavior, sleep disturbances, physical complaints of headaches and stomachaches and of course, rapid shallow breathing. All of the resources and solutions have been adult focused and we have ignored the children. There are scores of books designed to help adults manage their stress through relaxation and meditation. For the first time in history we are acknowledging that children are vulnerable to stress. The same techniques that have helped adults are now available to help children unwind, de-stress and sleep peacefully. How different could your child’s life be if he knew how to breathe slowly like the tortoise?

Imagine a generation of children living longer, healthier, calmer lives than us, their parents.

My own stressful life journey sent me in search of ways to first help myself and then my children. I learned that simply adding deep belly breathing, affirmations and visualizations to my life could counteract the harmful effects stress was having on my body and mind. These techniques worked so well for me I wondered how my children would respond. I developed 4 stories designed to entertain my children while at the same time introduce them to life long stress-management skills. I watched my young son follow “A Boy and a Bear” along as he put his hands on his belly and learned diaphragmatic breathing. My daughter’s night terrors disappeared as she repeated positive statements with the animals of the forest in “The Affirmation Web.” The gratification of watching my own family benefit by introducing stress-management techniques to our lives inspired me to continue creating stories to help other parents looking for a way to help their children. How different could your child’s life be if he knew how to “slow down, relax and see things more clearly?”

Imagine reading a book to your child that shows him how to manage his own energy, stress and anxiety. Imagine feeling the ripple effect of calmness as it makes its way through your family. Imagine your joy as you watch your child’s self-esteem grow with each affirmation. You will be inspired to see how easy it is for your child to apply breathing, visualizations, affirmations and muscular relaxation to his life. I believe that children have the ability to be an active participant in creating their own healthy, peaceful lives. Children want to feel calm and in control of their minds and bodies. Children want to feel good!

Imagine your empowered child having the wisdom of the ancient Yogis and choosing the path of the tortoise.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Lite is the author of innovative children’s books, CDs, curriculum and other empowering products all designed to introduce children and teens to meditation and stress management. Lori is a Certified Children’s Meditation Facilitator, teacher, student of meditation and mother of three.

Lori’s stories, techniques and products are currently assisting child life specialists, parents, teachers, school counselors, psychologists and yoga instructors across the United States and abroad.

Lori Lite has interviewed and written articles for several media outlets around the country to include interviews with “ABC Radio” “Prevention Magazine” “CBS News”, “USA Today Magazine” “Stress Free Living” Magazine and “Evolve” Magazine. She has also been featured in several publications to include “Parents Guide New York”, “Atlanta Journal Constitution”, “Atlanta Parent Magazine” and “Children of the New Earth”.

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