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H is for Heartful!
In our Calm Confidence Kit, we have an exercise called Heartful – that sets up a powerful neuro-physiological connection for oxytocin boosting resilience. Here’s how …
Choose a quiet time to set this up. A time and place when your child is feeling calm, relaxed and balanced.
Gentle take hold of their left hand and with your ring finger, trace an imaginary heart symbol in its palm – 3 times.
Ask them to look at the imagined outline of the heart shape and have them trace it for themselves, three times.
Now invite them to remember people who help them feel loved and visualise these faces inside the imaginary heart in their left palm. Ask them to maybe even hear soft loving spoken words.
Some children prefer to think of an animal who can send them love through the palm of their left hand.
Ask your child to let you know “when the tickle feeling has reached their heart” give them as long as they need (you’ve planted the seed that it will happen). Sometimes it takes seconds to feel a heart tickle and sometimes it takes days … Just allow them to believe it will happen and therefore direct their attention to seeking their own evidence.
Have them imagine a time in the future when they might expect to feel a little nervous or unhappy, but instead of feeling stuck – they can bring this heart feeling into their hand (no -one will see) and remember the nice happy feeling instead. Nice feelings help us to make better decisions!
Practise! Whenever you are calm and loving. Hard wire it so their brain can do it automatically (repetition is an easy way to establish brain signal pathways).
What a gift you have given your child for future resilience in any place, time or situation. Remind them they can take it with them every day, and remind them to re-charge it’s power regularly too!
Give your child a simple brain directive that puts them in charge of learning how to manage their feelings while building trust in their own mechanisms for resilience.