Having anxiety can be very strenuous when going about daily life. It's heartbreaking when your child is living life through this circumstance. As a parent, taking your child to see a doctor and/or counselor is important and helpful on your part. However, you can take action as well to help your child implement strategies at home to make home life a safe space and a less stressful environment.
Here are five things to teach your kid to do when their anxious:
1. Deep Breathing is a very important. Anxiety and stress causes the
diaphragm to flatten which causes us to breathe shallowly. This can increase physical symptoms like dizziness and muscle tension but can also trigger your body to respond to stress in ways that contribute to anxiety and panic attacks. Say to your child, "Feel your belly as you take deep breaths. You should feel with your hand your belly expanding when you inhale and flattening when you exhale the deep breaths, like a balloon!" When you notice your child going through a stressful time and they just cant seem to get a hold of their situation, make sure to have them just take a moment to breathe and be in the moment. Having them not think about anything at all in this moment besides their breath can calm a person down immensely. Refer to How to Take a Deep Breathe post for more information.
2. Journaling or keeping a diary helps get kids’ get their thoughts out on paper. It can feel a lot better to put feelings out in the physical world than keeping them inside. Journaling is a wonderful and healthy way to express emotion. Drawing is also a great way to have children not stress themselves out to an unhealthy level and put their focus on the art they are making.
3. Acknowledge the problem. With whatever your child is anxious about, it is important that your kids know it does not help to run away from the problem. In the moment, if your child’ anxiety levels are high or they are frustrated with a task they must