Research reveals that bodily movement directly affects brain chemistry. When one of your children has lost touch with his upstairs brain, a powerful way to help him regain balance is to have him move his body.

A young child refused to get dressed one morning, and his mom quickly thought of a game to play. She called it the dressing game. “First do a jumping jack, and then we’ll put on your pants.” This child was in a much better mood by the time he was fully dressed.

Is your school applying this research by allowing for several physical breaks each day? I was pleased to read that “several schools in Texas, Oklahoma, and California are piloting a new program that drastically increases the amount of recess given to elementary students, and they say the results are nothing short of a miracle. The program suggests students be given 4 15-minute recess breaks throughout the day to break up the routine and give them a chance to expand some of that boundless energy they seem to have. Teachers at the schools say kids are more focused, calmer and there are fewer behavior issues in the school because of it.”                   

This strategy also works for the not so young. Recently, I was talking with my daughter via FaceTime. She expressed how stressed she was between her two part-time jobs and starting the fall semester of college. She told me that the only thing that seemed to help her cope with her stress was going for a run. Our bodies appear to know the state we are in before we are consciously aware of our stress.