Recent statistics show that as many as three out of five children suffer from anxiety. Yet, in reality, anxiety isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. In some cases, anxiousness can keep us safe, and aware of potentially dangerous surroundings. Children can be especially susceptible to stress and anxiety because the world is so new to them.
For some kids though, anxiety is beyond feeling apprehensive about a new world, and sometimes a sign of something more serious. As a parent, you want the very best for your child. Trying to help your child navigate the often difficult moments associated with anxiety can cause anxiety of your own. Take a look at some of the best tips for helping your anxious child navigate their feelings.
Bring Up The Positive
Kids may feel anxious about all sorts of different things. Perhaps you’re selling your house, and your child is anxious about moving to a new place. Maybe they’re being bullied at school, or a pet recently passed away. Whatever the reason is for their anxiety, it helps to bring up something positive to replace the negative. If they’re nervous about moving, for example, bring up all the new adventures that they’ll have in their new home. Pointing out the silver lining can have a tremendous effect on your child’s overall outlook.
Deep breathing can have a tremendous effect on your child’s nerves. Try to get them to focus on their breath, and take deep belly breaths so that their stomach rises on the inhale and their stomach deflates on the exhale. The more that you can teach them the art of breathing deeply, the more they can calm themselves down independently when you’re not around.
Go For a Walk
Not only can going for a walk distract your mind from negative thought patterns, but it’s also a great boost of endorphins. Getting your heart pumping can help soothe anxious thoughts, and bring your child’s state of mind to a peaceful place. Whether you go for a walk in a nearby park, or just around the block, a change of scenery and movement can be just what the doctor ordered.
Get a Pet
Consider adding a furry friend to your family, be it a charming Maine Coon or an adorable goldendoodle puppy for sale. The presence of a pet, such as a dog, cat, or small animal, offers emotional support and companionship, promoting a sense of security and comfort for children. Interacting with pets has been shown to lower stress levels, releasing hormones like oxytocin that promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Physical contact with pets, such as petting or cuddling, can have a calming effect and provide a distraction from uneasy thoughts. Moreover, the routine and responsibility of caring for a pet can create a sense of structure and purpose, benefiting children’s mental well-being. Pets also offer non-judgmental listening, allowing children to express their feelings without fear of criticism.
Bonus Tip: Give A Hug
Sometimes all a stressed-out person needs is a hug. Physical affection can make a world of difference for someone going through a difficult moment. If your child is feeling upset about something, sometimes the best thing to do is simply take them in your arms, hug them and let them know that you care. When you physically touch someone, it releases something called oxytocin which is known as a feel-good hormone. A stressed-out child feeling uneasy about the world around them may feel a rush of relief in your loving arms.