Anxiety is a form of mental illness that affects a significant population; and it’s not just adults. According to the ONS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey, 2.2% of all children in the UK have an anxiety disorder – that’s about 96,000 children. The numbers are considerable, and yet, there are many cases that go undetected. Children may worry about the seemingly minor aspects of their lives; missing the school bus, getting the answers wrong on a surprise test, or getting the homework done on time. All this worrying results in a lot of stress on a child’s brain, causing them to develop an anxiety disorder. The anxiety occupies a dominant place in their mind, affecting them physically and emotionally.
I’ve seen kids suffer the consequences of an undiagnosed anxiety disorder, but it’s also hard on the parents. They have to watch their kid go through the whole ordeal, without an inkling of how to help them. And that is when they start looking for solutions to the problem. Many parents came to me quite desperate since their kid’s anxiety disorder had reached a dangerous peak. Though anxiety is a natural human feeling, essentially an alert system that alerts us whenever we perceive impending danger, it might get out of control in some patients. They start worrying excessively about many things which might not have mattered so much in reality.
Although I’ve dealt with more than my share of anxiety disorder patients, it’s not the same when the person occupying the chair is a child. The therapies that I use with adults might not work as effectively with young patients. Here, I am going to put forth some specialized activities to help children alleviate their stress.
You can use some fun activities to help ease your child’s anxiety and to reassure them. With time, their anxiety will fade away and they’ll be able to lead normal and happy lives. Here are three activities that will help you get started on the path of helping out your child.
1. Use Balloons as anxiety busters
Ask the child to take a balloon and write on the balloon the name of the thing that makes them anxious. Have them blow the balloon and tell them that with every breath, they are exhaling out the worry right into the balloon. Once it has been blown, don’t tie the balloon; ask them to let go of the balloon and watch it fly around the room. As the balloon lets out the air, tell the child that the worry has also escaped their body and they can be carefree now.
2. Help them make a worry wall
Let them make a list of all the things that worry them; write it on post-it notes and stick them up on a wall. Once all the worries are out, write two possible solutions of each problem and stick them beside the worry wall. Now that everything is out in the open, the child will have nothing to fear. They also have the possible solutions, which will make them realize that their worries aren’t as severe as they seemed.
3. Fear Release:
Perhaps one of the most important and natural ways we let negative energy go is through releasing that negative emotion. Get your child to imagine their fear as an object and get them to notice that uncomfortable feeling in their chest or stomach area. Once they notice that feeling they can imagine that feeling as an object floating and drifting away. It’s great fun and a very powerful exercise
Try these activities to see if your child can overcome the irrational fears and worries. If these don’t seem to work, it might be time to seek professional help. Contact me at email@example.com or visit www.theanxietyexpert.com in this case.