Guest Post Contributed by Erika Long
Adults aren’t the only ones who get stressed. Children are just as prone to anxiety, but they are at the added disadvantage of not having the words to identify and manage the feelings that they are experiencing. Therefore as a parent, if we see disturbing signs in our children, it’s important to visit a specialist for an expert examination and diagnosis. If it’s determined that your child is suffering from anxiety, there are natural methods to consider instead of, or possibly in addition to, medication.
1. Diet and Supplements
The body and mind are intrinsically linked, and a healthy body tends to support a healthy mind and vice versa. To manage anxiety in kids, ensure they have a nutritious and balanced diet. Healthy eating habits regularize the metabolism and manage the cognitive behavior in children, thus playing a positive role in managing anxiety. Research says identifying food allergies early could also help in managing anxiety in kids. Apart from eating well, certain natural supplements could also help reduce anxiety in children. A good place to start is with multivitamins formulated for kids, then look at chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm supplements. Also, research shows that magnesium is effective in reducing hyperactivity in children.
2. CBD Oil
Although controversial to some, research is showing that CBD oil can be an effective treatment for anxiety in children. Studies focusing on children's disorders are limited, but specific cases have been noted that kids with post-traumatic stress disorder experience significantly less anxiety when using this oil. Additionally, CBD oil has the potential to improve sleep patterns in children, which can also correlate to a reduction in anxiety. However, the dosages must be right for this treatment to be successful so speak with your pediatrician before using CBD oil on your child.
3. Art Therapy
Often, children are unable to express their feelings especially when suffering with anxiety. Art therapy is an effective method that enables kids to portray what’s going on for them while soothing them. It is important to note, however, that art therapy works when children are free to choose the content and material of their creation without expectation or pressure. It’s smart to keep art supplies like colored pencils and paper handy so that children can self-medicate with art when needed.
Research has shown that yoga has been shown to relax children. If your child is hyperactive, it might be challenging to get them into yoga, so it’s recommended to start early and with simpler postures. Practice yoga with your kids to give them a sense of security and connection. Also, when attempting to reduce anxiety in kids, focus on postures that have more to do with different breathing techniques as deep breathing is known to slow down racing heartbeats, in turn making the mind calmer. There are also yoga class for kids that you can enroll them in, but make sure the class focuses on health and fitness and not competition as competition could exacerbate their anxiety.
5. Deep Pressure Stimulation
When deep but comforting pressure is applied to a child's body, such as through a massage or an embrace, the child's brain registers it as a restful time. Consequently, their brain releases of dopamine and serotonin, which are calming hormones. There are various ways to apply deep pressure stimulation to reduce anxiety in kids. The most inexpensive ways are embracing your child, applying firm massages with your hands, or wrapping the child in a cushion topped with a blanket. There are also specialized products such as weighted blankets, pressure vests, and compression clothing.
It can be difficult to see children suffering with anxiety but luckily, there are numerous treatments and therapies both natural as well as clinical and pharmaceutical that can help. A calm, secure, happy child performs better in school, creates stronger connections with others and develops into a healthy mature adult who can handle life’s stresses and challenges. Try these five remedies and see how your child improves.
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