Helpful Tips For Kids With Anxiety or Restlessness

Last night one of my friends spoke about her granddaughter who struggles with falling asleep because she worries about a lot of things. I think there are a lot of children who struggle with calming, especially when families experience loss and/or illnesses. In my book, Mindful Games by Susan Kaiser Greenland, she writes about different activities to do with children and adults to help with calming the mind and body. Greenland writes that when children “feel stressed and anxious, worrying about what’s going on and endlessly mulling it over will heighten the body’s stress response. The secret to putting the brakes on an overly heightened stress response lies in children’s learning to notice when their bodies are sending them signals that anxious thoughts and feelings have started to take over. The kids can relax and lightly FOCUS on a simple neutral object to anchor their attention. Perhaps because it is always with them, the most commonly used anchor is the sensation of breathing. It can be especially calming and self-soothing when kids place a hand on their hearts to feel their chests move up and down as they breathe.” Note my Deep Relaxation exercise in my Teachables. I have used that exercise frequently when working with restless children and their feedback is always very positive.

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