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10-15 minutes


Primary / Junior / Intermediate


Visualization script


To help students learn to soothe their body and mind and regulate emotions during times of stress

Ask students to sit comfortably.  During the body scan, notice whether you feel tense or relaxed in a particular area. If tense, focus on relaxing the area by sending a breath there.

  1. Start the body scan at the crown of the head, followed by the forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, jaw, mouth, chin and ears, include any sounds that are noticed.
  2. Next, focus on the neck and shoulders. Notice any tension or sensation of air in the throat. Now pay attention to your arms, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers.
  3. Shifting to the chest area, notice the rise and fall of the chest when you breathe in and out. Notice any aches and pains and take a deep breath in, focusing on relaxing this area.
  4. Afterwards, notice your stomach, lower back, hips, and your sitting bones.
  5. Now move your attention to your thighs, knees and calves, noticing how your muscles feel.
  6. Finally, move your attention to your toes, heels, tops and bottoms of your feet.
  7. Now, taking one or two deeper breaths, widen your focus by paying attention to your entire body, noticing whatever is present. Scan your body from your head to your toes. Keep focused on your body, acknowledge any pain you may still feel and send a breath there. Appreciate the wonder of your body, its functions and capabilities.

Follow up with a discussion. Prompts may include: What sounds did you notice? Did your mind wander to other things? Did you fall asleep? Was this activity helpful? Relaxing? Difficult?

  • Simple visualization exercise for students:



Think about your favourite place. 

Picture it in your mind.  

Think of how you feel. 

What does it sound like? 

What does it smell like? 

What does it feel like? 

Imagine all of your fears and worries replaced with a feeling of calm and happiness. 

Imagine yourself in your favourite place. 

Let yourself relax and enjoy the moment. 

  • Some students may not be comfortable with this practice.
  • For primary students, the script may need to be simplified.
  • When beginning, instructions for students must be explicit (e.g., clench/tense and relax body parts or breathe into the tension).
  • The sequence of relaxation can start at their feet and travel up to their head.
  • This practice could start more generally and then grow to be more specific.

Exercises that attune students to their internal states, and help them cope with stress, train the mind to respond efficiently to distractions or feelings of intense emotions or anxiety (Domitrovich, Cortes, & Greenberg, 2007; Felver, Celis-de Hoyos, Tezanos, & Singh, 2016).

Domitrovich, C. E., Cortes, R. C., & Greenberg, M. T. (2007). Improving Young Children’s Social and Emotional Competence: A Randomized Trial of the Preschool “PATHS” Curriculum. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 28(2), 67-91. doi:10.1007/s10935-007-0081-0

Felver, J. C., Celis-de Hoyos, C. E., Tezanos, K., & Singh, N. N. (2016). A Systematic Review of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Youth in School Settings. Mindfulness, 7(1), 34-45. doi:10.1007/s12671-015-0389-4