Progressive Relaxation

This is the sixth post in an eight-part blog series, Seven Simple Solutions to Smarter, Less Stressed Kids. Each post contains one new solution to help families grow together and help improve academic performance.

Something as simple as monitoring and paying attention to your breathing, and relaxing into your breath, can help lower stress levels. By lowering your stress levels, and that of your children, you can bring daily health benefits to the whole family. Progressive relaxation techniques, such as the ones I use in my meditation audio downloads, can lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and pump more blood to prefrontal cortex, which allows us to process our thoughts better.

We get the best of who we are when we put ourselves in what is known as this relaxed alpha state, because instead of being blocked by anxiety and stress, we have access to who we really are. We are not altering our brain structure through cortisol and stress hormone.


Have each family member, either together or individually, incorporate my stress reduction exercise at least once daily.


  • Make sure you practice this exercise in a quiet room, with no distractions.
  • Schedule the time for this exercise into your day as you would any other commitment. The start of the day and as you are ending your day are the best times.
  • Set a timer so you are not distracted by wondering if your 20 minutes is up.
  • Find a room where you have plenty of space to lie down where you do not feel cramped by nearby objects.
  • What you resist, persists: therefore, when you have distracting thoughts, invite them into your meditation. Don’t fight them.