Anxiety is something that pretty much all of us will experience in our lifetimes and for children who have not experienced this before, it may be difficult to deal with and navigate. By definition anxiety is the feeling of unease, worry or fear. The effects can really vary. For some it may be severe whilst others may have milder symptoms. When we feel anxious, we can feel restless, wound-up and struggle to concentrate. Physically headaches, muscle aches and stomach aches may be felt as well as trouble sleeping. If you recognise any of these symptoms in your child, it is likely that they have anxiety. The good news is that there are ways to overcome it.
Below is some guidance shared by an independent boys’ school in London on helping children manage anxiety.
Mindfulness is a way of grounding yourself and it can help children overcome their anxiety by helping them focus on the present. Techniques vary but all essentially involve working on breathing and the five senses. See, touch, hear, smell and taste.
To see the full effect of mindfulness, your child will need to practise them regularly. This isn’t a one-step solution and the feelings they experience will likely come back which is when they will need to practise mindfulness again. It’s a good idea to work through these at the start of every day so that they feel calm and grounded as well as when feeling overwhelmed.
It’s also worth mentioning that while these techniques have worked for many children, they may not for your child. If you feel that your child needs further support, we recommend visiting the GP who will be able to make a mental health assessment and potentially refer them on to therapy (should they need it) and any other treatments.