How to Use Sounds with Meditation to Calm Your Anxious Child

Meditation soundsRead more about mindfulness and meditation in our parents guide to mindfulness by clicking here

You don’t have to sit around with your anxious child humming “Om” for a successful meditation. In fact, that’s one of the top meditation myths and you don’t have to hum or chant at all. But you may be delighted to find that humming, chanting or otherwise making noise while you meditate can help your kid calm down, focus and enjoy the practice.

Deep Breathing in a Nutshell

Any chant, hum or other sound requires breath, and the deep breathing technique known as “belly breathing” is an ideal one to use during meditation. Adults may know the method as diaphragmatic breathing and it involves deep inhalations and exhalation that let your diaphragm do the work, pulling the breath deep into your belly and exhaling it just as fully.

Use it effectively by breathing in deeply to the count of three then exhaling deeply while counting to six. Get the rhythm down, teach the technique to your anxious kid and get ready to add some sounds into the mix!

Nifty Noises and Animal Sounds

The noises can be anything you and your anxious child choose, with the goal of keeping them light, interesting and fun to produce. While you and your kid will inhale for three counts as practiced, you can add the nifty noise to the six-count exhalation. Add a visual effect by raising your arms with the inhalation and lowering them with the exhalation and sound.

An example from the Daily Beast details how one yoga instructor and musician named Skuba uses sounds to calm down her own child at night.

“At nighttime, when he’s really active and not calming down, we’ll do sounds,” Skuba told the Daily Beast. “Take a deep breath, fill up like a balloon—now buzz like a bee.”

Any easy-to-make sound is fair game, with other examples including yummmmmm, shhhhhhh and any others you or your anxious child enjoy. Mooooo like a cow, grrrrr like a tiger, hissssss like a snake.

The slow, deep breathing slows down the mind to begin with and the addition of sound gives your child something on which to focus.

Hums and Chants

Humming along to a soothing tune can help calm down your anxious kid, as can focusing on a chant the same way you focused on the nifty noises and animal sounds. The soothing tune can be used in lieu of the traditional lullaby at bedtime or even follow the tune of a traditional lullaby.

Chants for children are another option, especially those that contain a soothing sounding mantra. notes one that comes highly recommended by yoga teacher Bibi Bhani Kaur Khalsa who uses it while teaching yoga to children.

“The children really love the Sa Ta Na Ma (mantra) and seem to get lost in it,” she says. “They often don’t want to stop.”

The mantra consists of the four words in the title, “Sa Ta Na Ma,” which you repeat as few or as many times as your anxious kid’s heart desires. Extend the aaaaahhh sound and let the words flow harmoniously.

Just so you know you’re not chanting anything strange or dangerous, SpiritJourney offers the translation:

  • Saa means infinity
  • Taa means life
  • Naa means death, or transformation
  • Maa means rebirth

Nice, no? Feel free to create your own mantras or combinations of sounds that both you and your anxious child have fun with. Making meditation enjoyable means kids will be more eager to practice it, and you may find yourself mooing and hissing every night as a way to calm down for a gorgeous night’s sleep.