Sunny days

Sunny days

Using mindfulness, yoga and breathing techniques to help children and adults navigate the trickier times in life. By Patricia Maddalena

You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. We all love to chat about the weather and so we can use this as an introduction to understanding emotions. Just like the weather, our feelings come and go. They are constantly changing; nothing stays the same, so it is how we choose to respond to the weather that makes all the difference. We can choose to jump in the rain puddles of life and splash about and find the joy or not.

Changes to the weather can happen suddenly and when we least expect it; just like our mood.

Our feelings are triggered in us from an experience, a person, thoughts, or they can develop over time and catch us unawares. Using mindfulness, yoga and breathing techniques we can help children and ourselves navigate the trickier times in life.

Have a chat with your child about the various types of weather and how they could correspond to different emotions they are currently experiencing and ask them where in their body do they feel this and what kind of colour or weather could it be? You could get the paper and felts out and draw an outline of their body and draw what they discover.

Here are some examples, but remember it may not correspond like this for some children, so settle on the descriptions that you discuss with your child:

Sunny days: happy / joy / yellow in my tummy
Rain: sad / upset / grey / bubbly in my throat
Cloudy: worried / scrambled eggs in my head
Storm: angry / scared / anxiety/ tornado in my chest
Rainbow: peaceful / calm all over my body

Sunny days

Exploring the various emotions, naming them and locating them, and then getting the child to describe them as ‘scrambled eggs’ or ‘sharp bubbles in her throat’ or ‘what message does it have for them’ will help disentangle them from their experience. This is fundamental for children to be able to establish the mind/body connection as well as uncover the real reasons behind their stress and anxiety, fear or worry. In this way, you can then start to unravel, heal, clear and move through these big emotions freeing your child up to create a ‘game plan’ that will help them in the future.

Sunny days

Once you have finished, ask them how they feel now and you will find that they respond with something like ‘clear skies’, ‘happy’ ‘peaceful’ or ‘good’. Being truly seen, heard and acknowledged is all any of us really want and so this is a lovely little mindfulness tool to do just that. It’s an opportunity to clear and move through their ‘stuff’ as they go, instead of saving it all for later.

Understanding that within the ‘negative’ feelings and worries there is valuable information for them will reinforce that they are not their behaviour and that what they are feeling simply comes and goes like the weather.

Patricia Maddalena is an NLP Master, Trainer and Founder and lead Mindfulness Tutor of WiggleBums and WiggleKids (

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