By Kim Norton
A meditation for kids (big and small) that will take them to their “Happy Place”; a place where they feel happy, calm and at peace.
Using the five senses children can envisage a time or place where they felt totally relaxed and can take themselves back to that place whenever they need to, in any environment; at school, home, in the car, during a test, at a dance recital, or at a medical appointment. Here they can focus on the present moment, slow down their breathing and improve their mental clarity so that they can then tackle the problem at hand.
Initially for our younger kids, it is beneficial for you as the parent/carer to recite this meditation for them so that they only have to concentrate on the visualisations themselves rather than having to remember all the steps (which will only create more stress). Once practised a few times, it will only take a minute or two for them to land in their happy place and return to a state of calm and peace, no matter their age or environment.
To begin the meditation:
I want you to think about a time and a place where you felt really happy. A time where you felt totally calm and completely relaxed. This is your “Happy Place.”
With your eyes closed, picture this place in your head. It might be a place that you have visited on holidays, it could be your bedroom or another room in your house, it could be sitting on Mum’s lap, or it could be a magical place that you have imagined in a book or seen in a movie. Picture this place in your head now.
Without speaking aloud, think about what you can see? What does this place look like? Can you see trees or buildings? Can you see animals or people? Look around. What else do you see? Lock that picture in your head.
Next, think about what you can hear? If you can see animals, can you hear them? Is there water nearby? Can you hear the waves of the beach or music playing? If you are at home, can you hear the TV or other people in the house? Is it quiet, or are there no sounds at all? Lock those sounds in your head.
Now I want you to think about what you can smell. Can you smell any pets that might be with you? If you are at home, can you smell Mum cooking dinner? If you are sitting on Mum’s lap, can you smell her perfume? If you are outside in nature, can you smell the flowers? Take a minute to think about what else you might be able to smell. Lock those smells in your head.
What does it feel like in your “happy place”? Do you feel warm or cold? What can you feel under your feet? Can you feel mud squishing between your toes? Are you floating in air or are you lying down? What do you feel on your body? Do you feel a soft breeze, the warm sun or the touch of Mum’s hand stroking your head? Do you feel safe and happy? Lock those feelings into your head now.
Lastly, we visit taste. Think about what you might be able to taste. It might be the last thing you ate or if you are at the beach, you might be able to taste the salt in the air. You might not taste anything at all and that is totally ok. Lock those tastes into your head.
Take a last look around. Remember how it feels to be in your “happy place.” Know that you can come back to this time and place anytime you wish; you just have to remember what it looks and feels like here. Remember what it smells like, what you can hear and what you can taste. I want you to lock the full picture of your “happy place” into your head now.
(This meditation can also be used as a sleep aide which will allow for some valuable bonding time and help to create a successful bedtime routine. Just start the meditation with a short muscle relaxation exercise to really relax the mind and body and then end the meditation here. If using this meditation as a general stress management tool, then continue).
Got it? Good. I am going to count backwards from 5 and after that you can sit and if you wish, you can draw your “Happy Place”. This will help you to remember it and return to it easily whenever you need to.
4: wiggle your fingers
2: wiggle your toes
1: open your eyes and take a big stretch
Kim is a Holistic and Spiritual Counsellor specialising in stress and anxiety management for kids, teens, and adults. Kim provides a unique, intuitive, and individualised therapy approach through individual, small group, and family counselling sessions both online and at her studio in Langwarrin.
Please see www.rainbowlighttherapies.com.au for more information.
An audio version of this meditation can be found on www.youtube.com/c/rainbowlighttherapies.