It isn’t just adults who get anxiety; kids can also feel anxious from time to time and it can seem difficult to deal with. When dealing with an anxious child, first know that you are NOT alone and there are several things that you can do about the situation. Let’s take a deeper look at anxiety and kids, including the symptoms and anything you can do to help the situation.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental health condition that affects the brain. Many people call it the “fight or flight” trigger and it really does feel that way when a person is feeling at their most anxious. It is a very emotional condition and it can leave people (and especially children) very scared and uncertain of what is going on around them, even if these scenarios are seemingly mundane for most people. It is quite common to get nervous or anxious about certain events in your life but when these events have passed and the feeling is still there, this is known as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety has the potential to stop kids from being kids and behaving the way that they should be. Having fun, running around with their friends and generally enjoying things the way they should. It is known that in children who are anxious, a certain part of their brain works differently than others. They are constantly on edge, looking out for dangers and seeing dangers cropping up that aren’t actually there. Anxiety is more common in girls than boys but it can happen to anyone at any age. It is important that you know as a parent if your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder, it is not your fault and the best thing you can do is be supportive.
Signs that a child is anxious:
Anxiety is a wide range of emotions all at once, which can be so scary for a child. There are also different levels of the condition. You can watch your child and look for differences in the behavior and mood in order to try and assess whether they have anxiety, the only way to know for sure however is to visit a doctor. Some of the possible symptoms of anxiety in your child are as follows.
- Appearing nervous, this could present itself in the physical form as looking around a lot or looking down to the floor.
- Regularly crying or even getting angry over what most would see as small problems.
- Chest pain or discomfort, nausea, and tiredness. Often these feeling is down to their mental worries rather than any physical illnesses. Despite the tiredness, the child might struggle to sleep because it is hard for them to switch their thoughts off.
- Lack of concentration or seeming like they are in their “own world a lot of the time”. This can show itself both when they are at home and when they are at school, which could also negatively affect their grades.
- Being antisocial, this could be because they are scared of doing something wrong or anything happening in these social situations. They might even no longer have interest in certain hobbies that they used to love.
What to do
While your child is still growing, it is best not to put them on any medications for their anxiety and the range of emotions that they are going through right now. It is so important that you do the best you can as a parent and some of the following tips are a great place to start when you have a child who has some kind of anxiety disorder.
1. Understand anxiety
The first step in tackling anxiety with your child is actually understanding what is going on. Research more about anxiety and particularly anxiety in children. Learn the triggers that affects your child (everybody is different) and learn to react to those in the appropriate way.
2. Talk to your child and give them the necessary tools to progress
No matter how old your child is, it is important that you talk to him/her about what is going on. This means telling them that they are not alone, knowing that you are by their side is going to make a world of difference to their rapid emotions. Practice different things with them like breathing exercises, exercise in general and mindfulness. These things are going to be beneficial in all areas of life and especially in managing their anxiety now and when they grow.
3. Develop a lifestyle that reduces anxiety
Routine is great for those who have anxiety and helps to lessen it as much as possible. Lifestyle factors can also be really good for combating feelings of anxiousness. This includes having a good diet, exercising regularly, keeping a clean environment, quality sleep and so on. Talk through any problems that they might be feeling anxious about and do your best to reassure them as much as possible.
4. Trying new things
It is so important that a child with anxiety does new things and actually works to improve the way that they feel about different situations. There are many things you can do for your child to boost their confidence and over time reduce their anxiety. Enrolling your child in different activities to build their self-esteem can be really beneficial to them. Some great ones to consider include dance lessons or martial arts
Anxiety is reportedly on the rise amongst children and young adults, it is important that you do what you can to combat the problem without any judgment. Some of the tips that have been mentioned are great. It is important at this time that instead of shutting your child away from the world, you encourage them to do things in order to positively impact their mental health. There are so many martial arts programs out there for kids and research has shown that these kind of activities are great for fighting anxiety and depression overall. Considering enrolling your child into a class like this
today and you should soon notice a difference.
No Joke Mixed Martial Arts is located in the Rockford/Loves Park Illinois area and provides a martial arts & fitness program for all ages and experienced levels. Our Mixed Martial Arts curriculum will shape you into the person you’ve always wanted to be. Whether you’re doing it for fitness, competition, or self defense, No Joke MMA is the place to go!
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