Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety, nervousness, tension, and stress from time to time. This includes children. Individuals and children can learn to effectively deal with their anxiety by implementing 5 easy tips.
Below are 5 tips to help manage anxiety:
- Become a relaxation expert. Relaxation is an important stress-management skill. Many people confuse various activities with relaxation. For instance, chilling out in front of the TV or computer is not necessarily true relaxation. Depending on what you are watching or doing, it could even make you more tense and you may not even recognize it. The same is true for substance use such as alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. They may seem to relieve anxiety or stress temporarily, as they exacerbate any stress you may have and create additional long-term problems. What truly relaxes the body and calms the mind is a relaxation technique — such as deep diaphragmatic breathing, tai chi, or yoga — that has a physical effect on the mind. For example, deep breathing helps to relax a major nerve that runs from the diaphragm to the brain, sending a message to the entire body to let go and relax. It is a proven physiological method that creates balance and a sense of relaxation to the mind and body.
- Get enough sleep, nourishment, and exercise. In order for your mind and body to experience a sense of peace and feel strong enough to handle life’s inevitable stressors, restorative sleep, healthy nutrition and adequate exercise are key. Attain the amount and quality of sleep that is psychological and physically restorative. The aphorism, “you are what you eat” is accurate. Our brain chemicals are made from the foods and liquids we consume. When our diet is healthy, our brain produces chemicals that allow us to stay mentally, emotionally and physically balanced. Eat nutritious foods such as fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains for long-term energy instead of the short bursts that are derived from excess sugar or caffeine. Exercise is vital to send oxygen to every cell in the body so your brain and body can be rejuvenated and replenished so we can operate at our most optimum levels.
- Connect with others. Spend time with friends or family. Organized activities are great and hanging causally is as beneficial. Spending time with those we feel close and connected to deepens our bonds, allowing us to feel supported and secure. In addition, the fun, enjoyment and sharing that naturally occurs allow us to feel happier and less upset about various challenging or demanding aspects of our lives. If you feel worried or anxious about something, talking about it with someone who listens and cares can help you feel more understood and boost your ability to cope. You will be reminded that everyone has these feelings sometimes and that you are not alone.
- Connect with nature. Heading out for a walk in the park or a hike in the woods can help cultivate feelings of peace and being centered. Choose a place where you feel safe so you can relax and enjoy your surroundings. Walking, hiking, or trail biking offer the additional benefit of exercise. Invite a friend or two — or a family member — along and enjoy feeling connected to people as well.
- Think positive. A great way to keep our minds off the worry track is to focus our thoughts on aspects that are good, positive and that we are grateful for. We can also practice being hopeful and expect positive results.
Note: When anxiety or worry feels extreme, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. For someone who has an anxiety disorder, getting proper care from a health professional is important. Professional treatment is the best way to address an anxiety disorder.
Source: Teen Health
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com. ACT serves the Del Mar 92014 and Rancho Santa Fe 92067 area.