Woah there anxiety! There it goes again, appearing when we least expect it and definitely when we don’t want it. As an adult, awareness of our own anxiety has become part of our understanding of ourselves. For children these new emotions can come on suddenly and from nowhere in particular so can be frightening and overwhelming.
In my professional opinion mental health and how to care for it properly and understand it should be on the school syllabus and even from an early age as a lot of anxieties can appear as early as babies as separation anxiety.
The main point to consider with an anxiety in a child is not to try and eliminate the situation that is making them anxious but to give them tools and techniques to help manage that anxiety, in turn helping them to become more resilient and able to deal with new challenges.
Don’t reinforce their fears and don’t belittle them but hold space for your child and guide them through the discomfort, talk through the problem and see if you can come up with coping mechanisms together. The power of deep and mindful breathing will do wonders to help calm your child down along with their heart rate and any other symptoms associated with their anxiety (see my blog on top tips for spotting anxiety in a child)
Finally model the behavior/attitude you wish your child to have when dealing with their anxiety, so practice techniques together holistically as a family and you will all reap the benefits. Be kind to yourself, if you have suffered with anxiety through life this is your opportunity to work alongside your child so you can both learn the power of harnessing your breath and your mind. It’s never too late to start and your mind and body will thank you.
Breathe | Believe | Be