Calming Down Anxiety
Children are strong and resilient beings. Despite their inner strengths, they are not immune to negative feelings. Given that the very nature of their growth and development requires them to go into many unknown circumstances or situations, feeling some level of anxiety is inevitable. The key, however, is not allowing that anxiety to determine the experience for the child.
Providing your child with an opportunity to become aware of this feeling, will allow them to learn how and when to use the tools to help them feel better. Remember, one of the keys to sustained growth and development, is your child’s ability to regulate themselves back into a state of feeling good. When they feel good, all possibilities are available to them. All they have to do is try.
It is important that your child learns to recognize anxiety. This feeling might not be easy for your child to articulate, and that is normal. When they experience feelings like anger, sadness, or even fear, they might have multiple experiences to draw from. As such, they are likely to be able to convey these feelings to you rather easily.
Anxiety, however, may be a combination of feelings or elicit new feelings, which the child might not have experienced. Many times, when a child is prompted to try something new, they will say “No! I don’t want to. I am scared.” While they may in fact be feeling some level of fear, this is likely a secondary feeling to their underlying dominant feeling of anxiety.
Your child can learn to recognize anxiety, based on physical cues their body might give them. These cues can include:
- A much faster heartbeat
- Fast and shallow breathing
- An upset stomach
- Increased levels of perspiration
- Trembling of the limbs
- Increased speed of thought
- Inability to concentrate
- Heightened level of concern
- A need to cling to parents or loved ones
As they begin to associate these cues with the feelings of anxiety, they will be able to work on the tools that can help them overcome this feeling in a healthy manner.
They Are OH-K
It is important for your child to understand that it is natural to be anxious. Not feeling embarrassed or upset that they are anxious is important. They can then recognize that although this is normal, they have tools to help them calm down.
There are many wonderful resources to help children feel calm. For example, OH-KS Power Up Your Magic empowers children with various tools such as breathing exercises, self-talk, meditation, and so much more. It is not important which resource you use. It is important that whatever you select is effective and will have a long-term impact.
One of the most effective methods to combat anxiety is it to regulate one’s breath. It’s effective, because it serves two purposes. First, it affords the child an opportunity to concentrate on something other than that which is causing the anxiety. Second, it requires the child to regulate their breath, which creates a physiological change within. By addressing both areas at once, the child naturally moves towards a state of calm, from which they can better address the situation or circumstance causing the anxiety.
There are many simple breathing techniques you can use. I have included four breathing techniques I have found the greatest success with. They are bubble breathing, belly breathing, shape breathing, and dandelion breathing. There are others as well that you can use, but these four definitely work!
I don’t know about you, but if I had these techniques earlier in life, I believe I could have utilized them to cope with my anxiety. The good news is your child doesn’t have to wait, they can begin using them right now!
Rachna Patel is the founder of OH-KS Corporation, a company that creates one-of-a-kind programs and materials, to help children ultimately become happy, healthy, confident, have a strong growth mindset, and so much more. To learn more about their latest products, you can visit their website at www.OH-KS.com