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Why breath is the key to inner calm
January 19, 2021
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Does your child have anxiety?

Anxiety in children

New research has shown that anxiety in children and teens is on the increase and I have witnessed this for myself with a marked increased in enquiries from concerned parents wanting to help their children.

As parents, its natural that when our children are anxious, to want to do what we can to help them feel better. But in trying to protect children from the things that trigger their anxiety, you can accidentally make anxiety worse.

So I wanted to share some things that you can do to help your child manage the feelings of anxiety.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal feeling of worry or fear in response to a stressful situation like exams or presentations. It is our brain’s way of protecting us from difficult or potentially dangerous situations.

Everyone experiences worry and anxiety at times but when the situation passes we feel better, the problem is when we continue to worry and fear situations long after situation has happened.

Symptoms of Childhood Anxiety

It is perfectly normal for children to experience some anxiety and may not express the same symptoms as adults. For example, they may have outbursts of anger or irritability in addition to fear and worry. Other symptoms may include:

  • feeling nervous, on edge, or panicky all the time
  • having trouble sleeping
  • feeling sick all the time
  • feeling overwhelmed or full of dread
  • feeling out of control
  • low appetite
  • finding it difficult to concentrate
  • feeling tired and grumpy
  • heart beating really fast
  • having a dry mouth
  • trembling, or having wobbly legs
  • feeling faint or dizzy

Fortunately, there are things that parents can do to help their kids get treatment and cope with feelings of anxiety.

How to Help a Child With Anxiety

Fortunately, anxiety is very treatable and there are things that parents can do to help their children get treatment and cope with feelings of anxiety.

The goal is to help your child manage their feelings rather than eliminating it.

  1. Don’t Avoid the Triggers

In avoiding the things that cause anxiety we can accidently reinforce that this is actually something to be fearful of, progressively making the anxiety worse.

  1. Build Their Confidence

Be positive about areas of their life in which they feel really confident and how they have overcome obstacles in the past. Getting them to focus on their past achievements and successes helps to build confidence in new situations.

  1. Breathe Together

When your child is experiencing an anxious moment try a breathing techniques like 5-2-7 techniques (breathe in for 5, hold for 2 and out for 7). This approach activates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the feelings of stress and anxiety.

 

I have successfully worked with many children and teenagers to overcome a wide range of anxiety and fears and build their self-confidence. I use psychological strategies and modern techniques to guide your child from feeling lost to confident again.

You can find some other simple strategies in my Manage Your Mind – Anxiety Busting Solutions book available on amazon.

If you would like some help or advice regarding your child please get in touch.