Have you ever worried, felt nervous or experienced uneasiness?
These are feelings of anxiety and are normal responses when we are faced with important life event or during a difficult situation e.g. getting married or giving birth or going for a procedure. It can also happen to our children as well e.g. going for exams.
While we adults may be able to identify, express and calm our anxiety, our children may not be able to do that. So, how can we help our children when they are feeling anxious?
Firstly, we need to be able to identify what are the tell-tale signs that our child is experiencing feelings of anxiety.
Here are some tell-tale signs of anxiety in a child that you can look out for:
● Starts to be clingy
● Very prone to getting cranky or irritable
● Gets awakened by bad dreams in the middle of the night
● Feeling tensed up and often fidgety
● Avoid daily activities, such as attending schools or socialising with friends
Secondly, how can we help our child to calm those feelings of anxiety? Here are 5 easy ways that you may try out to calm down an anxious child.
1. Talk About The Worry
Have a conversation with your child on his/her worries. Help your child to look at the problem he/she is facing in a new or different perspective. This will help the child to release built-up tension and also helps you to gain insight into the factors that are causing your child’s feeling of anxiety. By knowing the causes, you can in future help your child to anticipate feeling of anxiety and manage it.
2. Focusing On Breathing
One of the most natural way to calm anxiety is to practice deep breathing. Slow deep breathing can help to calm feelings of anxiety.
3. Hug It Out
Hugging is one of the most effective way to calm an anxious child. Hugging your child triggers the release of feel-good hormone in them which leads to lowering of the stress hormone level and feelings of anxiety.
4. Music Therapy
“Music soothes the soul”. Playing your child’s favourite music can provide tremendous relaxing effect on his/her mind and body. You can also play slow, quiet classical music. Studies have shown music can lower the pulse and heart rate and decreasing the stress hormones level.
5. Pet Therapy
If you have a pet cat or dog, they can be very helpful to help your child relieve their feelings of anxiety. Aside from reducing anxiety stress and depression, a pet also provides love and friendship. If you don’t have a pet, fret not. You can always bring your child to a dog or cat café to interact with the animals in a safe and calm environment.
The above are just some tips you can consider to calm your child’s feeling of anxiety. Do remember, however, that these tips are not targeted to eliminate anxiety. They are meant to help the child manage anxiety. If self-help is not effective, it is always a good idea to seek professional help.