Anxiety in Children: Triggers and Symptoms
Anxiety is a common condition that can affect children as well as adults. Just under 10% of children aged three to 17 in the US were diagnosed with anxiety between 2016 and 2019. There are many triggers of anxiety in children, including separation anxiety, fear of the unknown, dysfunctional families, traumatic events, phobias, illness, and pressure to be perfect. Parents, caregivers, and teachers should be aware of these triggers to provide support and resources for children to manage their anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety in children can include physical symptoms such as abdominal pain, headaches, and nausea, behavioral symptoms like restlessness and irritability, sleep disturbances, and self-doubt and low self-esteem.
Easy Home Activities for Managing Anxiety in Children
There are many simple activities that parents can do with their children to help manage anxiety. These include mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing, body scans, and visualization, physical activity such as playing outside or doing yoga, artistic activities such as drawing and painting, encouraging children to keep a journal where they can write down their thoughts and feelings, playing soothing music or encouraging children to listen to their favorite music, and sensory activities such as playing with play dough or kinetic sand. It’s also important for parents to create a supportive and positive environment for their children and validate their children’s feelings.
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