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6 Tips For Helping Kids With Anxiety

I was talking to a parent the other day who has a child who suffers from extreme anxiety. I have suffered from anxiety in the past and I can imagine how hard it would be to be a parent of a child who suffers from anxiety, not to mention the child feeling the way they do. Some may disagree with me, but I don’t believe there is an actual ‘cure’ for this disorder, but there are many ways to manage and rise above the feelings anxiety can evoke. Since childhood anxiety is a common issue, it is important to understand what causes it and how parents can help their children with this issue. In this article, we will go through what is anxiety, its common symptoms, and 6 tips for managing what can sometimes be a disabling condition.

What Is An Anxiety Disorder?

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An anxiety disorder is a mental illness that causes a person to feel anxious for no reason. This could be a scary thought, but it's true. It is characterized by excessive worry, fear, and restlessness. It can also cause physical symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and muscle tension. Anxiety disorders can often cause children to experience problems with concentration, moods, and behaviours.

Anxiety disorders are a very common mental health problem among children in Australia. Beyond Blue reports, it is estimated that more than one in seven children young people between 4 and 17 years experience an anxiety condition in any given year. Anxiety disorders can affect how well a child performs in school and how they interact with their peers.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of unease or worry about a situation that seems difficult or dangerous. You may notice your child may try to avoid certain situations or activities that they might otherwise enjoy.

Some other signs of anxiety in children may be:

-Being overly worried about something

-Having trouble sleeping

-Being easily distracted

-Pacing back and forth

-Feeling restless, irritable, and overactive

-Feeling on edge

The Benefits of Learning How To Cope With Anxiety Early On In Life

When we are young, it is easy to be overwhelmed. We are not used to the pressure of school, work, and family life. However, there are ways to deal with these stresses as you grow older. Anxiety is a common problem that many people face in their daily lives. It can be difficult to find the right way to cope with it. There are some simple stress management skills that can help you manage your anxiety and live a happy life. There are many benefits of learning how to cope with anxiety early on in life. These benefits include better sleep patterns, improved performance at school and work, and a greater sense of self-worth.

6 Tips To Help Kids With Anxiety

1. Positive Attitude

It's easy for parents to get caught up in the day-to-day life struggles and forget to express positivity towards their child, especially when they're struggling with anxiety... It's important to show your child that you're always there for them, that they can talk to you about anything, and that it's okay to be anxious.

2. Teach Coping Skills

When faced with an anxious child, we as a society ie parents, guardians and teachers need to provide them with coping skills that will help them deal with their symptoms and reduce the intensity of their anxiety. For example, we can teach kids to breathe deeply or count to 10 when they feel overwhelmed by their symptoms. Other coping skills can be exercise (this is my go-to), meditation, and relaxation.

3. Practicing Self-Discipline

Give tools for practicing self-discipline like taking a break from screens and connecting with nature on walks or hikes or socialising with friends. New research shows that teens logging higher than average time on social media, TV, and computers will show more severe signs of anxiety. A walk outside and taking in the natural environment, practicing gratitude for having food on the table, family, etc. can help minimise symptoms of anxiety.

4. Conversation

Talking about anxiety can be a difficult conversation, but it's important to have the conversations to make your child feel supported. Reposition the child's perspective on what causes feelings of anxiety and remind them that it's ok to feel anxious. Talk with my child about anxiety, remind your child that anxiety is a common issue and there are ways to help manage the symptoms.

5. Address Triggers

Children with anxiety often experience some form of triggers such as a school event, social situation, or homework assignment. Other’s it could be competitions, being on stage or heights. It is important to identify these triggers and help your child manage them by providing strategies to cope with the trigger.

6. Support Network

Sometimes kids will feel isolated, and they need a support network of friends or family that can help them with their day-to-day life struggles. There are many organisations that can help and provide a lot of helpful information to assist with these struggles. Organisations like Beyond Blue and ARC Vic (Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria) have some great information and also helplines if needed. Raising Children also has a lot more links to resources throughout Australia.

Conclusion

Anxiety is a feeling that can be difficult to handle. It can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in kids, as well as their parents and guardians. However, if children know what anxiety is and how to manage their feelings, then they will be able to cope better with their anxiety. Once they learn to manage their feelings and cope with anxiety then they can truly start to enjoy being a kid and grow up to be confident adults. Below are some books and audio books that may help to learn more about anxiety and how to cope with the condition (these links contain affiliate links). There are also many methods we use in Kinesiology to assist with anxiety, if you need some extra assistance and you are in Melbourne you can contact me via the Kinesiology Service page.
Anxious For Nothing
Anxious Ninja
Get Out of Your Head
I Am Stronger

Have fun in your self-healing journey!

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