You are not alone…HOW TO encourage your students to open up (relaxation exercise guide)

Remember that you’re not alone.

No matter where you are, no matter what you go through, you are not alone.

One of the most beautiful human experiences we have is connection. We all share in love, in fear, in joys and in turmoil. We can reach out, we can listen, we can support and we can care.

That thing we call ‘being human’ is what gives us the power to make connections.

We all have the power, we all share the human experience. So wherever you are, no matter what, you are not alone. Use your power; Reach out, listen, support and care. And accept love, and give love. You deserve it.

You are not alone.

It’s often difficult to keep this in mind.

I always like to ask my older and adult students about things they go through, difficult times or stressful situations. I then ask them if they feel alone, like nobody would understand their problem, that they feel like they can’t tell anyone?

“Yes.”

I then remind them that they told me about their stressful situation, just minutes ago.

“Do you still feel alone?”

This provokes some inward reflection and a few awkward moments of consideration on their part, until they realise that, “no, I don’t feel so alone.”

I always like to encourage my students to share whats in their heads and hearts. This is a VERY simple way to encourage your students to open up and start to consider their feelings in a more mindful way.

Start off with a few deep breaths (or use your favourite kind of breathing exercises) while sitting in a circle, then start off the circle with a statement like:

“I was stressed today because…my boss was upset with me.”

Encourage the students to share their feelings with the same pattern, going around the circle.

“I was stressed today because…etc etc

Then when it’s your turn again, change it slightly.

“I felt sad today because…my son shouted at me before I left for work.”

“I felt uncomfortable today because…my coworker touched my hair.”

Take that round the circle. Do this a few times until the students have shared their feelings about things that impacted them negatively that day. (You can expand the time frame to weeks/months etc as per your class dynamic and make a longer lesson.)

Now I ask the students to get comfortable, lie down, grab a pillow etc. and we go through a guided relaxation similar to this one.

After the relaxation, I hand out the guided relaxation script with the translation attached and we go through it step by step, in English, saying the words out loud to each other, usually a few lines at a time per each student. We then finish with a discussion on how they feel about the exercise, how they enjoyed the meditation etc. tailored to your class.

Reminding my students that they always have someone to talk to, to connect with, to share with and open up to…to tell them that even when they are on their own they still have the power to overcome stresses and sadness…giving them those tools, and that encouragement…well that is one of my greatest joys.

Because really, no matter where and no matter what, we are not alone.

Lx

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