In our last post,Why Do Our Children Worry So Much?, we discussed the reasons why Adults and Children are so anxious, we also discussed the many different types of anxiety disorders. In this week’s article we will discuss how anxiety develops.
According to A+ Solutions, therapist, Brochie Weinberg, MS. LPCC, when people perceive danger, their fight or flight response is triggered. Hormones flood the body so that we can either run away or fight. Blood flow increases, our energy level surges, eyesight becomes sharper, and our minds become more attuned to our surroundings. The flight or fight response is integral to our safety, when we see a car move to close to us on the highway, our child is running into the street or we are walking down a dark alley at night.
However, it becomes a problem when the fight for flight response is triggered when their is no real danger. That is at the root of all Anxiety disorders.
To help children manage their anxiety, Brochie suggests the following:
1. Education: Children need to know what anxiety is all about. Teaching children about the fight or flight response is helpful so that they understand what is happening to their bodies when they feel anxious. They often feel “crazy” or embarrassed that they have these anxious feelings.
2. Relaxation Skills Training: It is helpful for children to learn calming strategies, like yoga breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery. Exercise is also essential part of treating anxiety.
3. Name the Feelings: Teaching children to name their emotions, “I feel worried about starting a new school.” “I am scared of Sara’s dog.” It can be therapeutic for children just to be able to verbalize their fears.
4. Diet and Nutrition: Studies have shown that minimizing sugar, avoiding caffeine, drinking plenty of water and eating on a regular schedule can help reduce anxiety.
In our next article we will talk about more ways to help children manage their anxiety.
Brochie Weinberg, MS, LPCC
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Brochie Weinberg received her M.S. at NorthEastern University in School Counseling and her LPCC, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor at John Caroll University . Brochie is a clinical counselor at A+ Solutions and provides individual counseling for children, adolescents and adults. She is also a school – based therapist at Yavne Junior High School where she provides individual and group counseling, classroom guidance, teacher training and faculty consultations. She runs social skills programs and creative workshops for preschool age children as well as adolescents on the topics of self esteem, handling emotions, friendship skills and study skills. Brochie works with children and adults with a variety of issues. In her personable approach, she draws from a wide range of theoretical orientations to creatively meet the needs of each client.