6 Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Worry and Anxiety

Is your child nervous about the start of the school year? It's common for all kids to feel nervous about beginning school. For some though, those beginning of the year nerves turn into something more. If you've noticed your student is struggling with excessive worry or anxiety, there are several simple things you can do to help. Below is a list of ways to help your child cope with worry and anxiety.

Have your child tense and relax each muscle group, working up from the toes.

Why it works: This will allow your child's body to release tension. When their body relaxes, their brain will relax too.

Tell your child to pay attention to the noises around him until he/she hears five different sounds. You can move through all of the senses- what are four things you see? Three things you can touch? Two things you can smell? One thing you can taste?

Why it works: Focusing thoughts on the moment helps us to center and stay in the moment rather than worry about the future.

Write down fears (or draw pictures of them) and put them in a "worry box."

Why it works: Writing worries down helps to minimize them and helps us to be able to let them go.

Help your child remember a time he faced a scary situation and overcame it.

Why it works: Picturing a previous success makes us feel more confident.

Have your child pretend that they are holding a slice of pizza. Have them close their eyes and inhale the aroma by breathing deeply in through the nose. Then, have them cool off the pizza by blowing out through the mouth.

Why it works: Focusing on the breath sends the brain a message that it is time to relax. It also lets oxygen get to the brain helping it to be more rational and in the moment.

Download some anti-anxiety apps on your phone or tablet. There are many to choose from like Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame, Calm, or Headspace. You can find links to these and other apps here.

Why it works: Apps like this give something to gaze at and focus on as we quiet down and breathe, helping to relax our body and brain.

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Monday, 16 May 2022

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