Help your children cope with fear and anxiety

People are developing idiosyncratic habits to cope in a world overwhelmed by the pandemic. In a matter of days the rules have changed, and continue to disrupt our daily lives to a great deal.

Although each one has a different quantum of impact, nonetheless one is still affected to some degree. Economic slowdown, the bombarding of information, a COVID-19 curve that continues to go upwards has a devastating effect on our social fabric.

As adults, many are extremely anxious and worried; it can be difficult to rely on usual coping strategies relating to mental wellness because we’ve never experienced a situation like this before. But have you ever wondered about the mental health of children?

A child dealing with stress may have the symptoms which approximate or mimic those of adults; they may experience anxiety, foul mood, guilt, anger, disorganisation, exhibit disruptive behaviours, increased arousal and hypervigilance, experience somatic symptoms, disillusionment and fear of a limited future.



Young children do not recognise the existence of chance events and may attribute the disaster to something they have done. Children often tune into our distress and in the absence of proper, clear, understandable information, they often make up their own exaggerated stories which may even be worse than reality.

So here are some tips to help children cope with issues:

Cloud Meditation or Sky Gazing: Let your child become more relaxed and peaceful with this delightful experiment. A traditional Tibetan calming meditation technique called sky-gazing or cloud meditation works wonders. Cloud meditation is a great tool to develop mindfulness and it can be practiced by kids. Gazing out of the window early morning is calming and soothing and helps heighten awareness to the stillness, provided you can spot a cloud in the sky. Ask them to sit in deep silence while watching the clouds, settle their attention on their breath and with each inhale and exhale let their gaze expand into the spaciousness of the clouds.

Worry Bubbles: This marvellous technique is designed to assist children with letting go of any worry and capture happiness. This activity is designed to help us release worry bubbles so that they feel more calm and relaxed. It is a visualisation-relaxation technique that combines thought and action to assist the child in letting go. This technique not only helps the child to visualise worries as they drift away, but it also promotes deep breathing as they are blow bubbles. Deep breathing automatically sends a message to the body to relax and calm down.

Binaural Beats Meditation: Generally, binaural beats are safe for kids, it is a beat therapy and a sound wave therapy. It makes use of the fact that the right and left ear each receive a slightly distinctive frequency tone, yet the brain perceives these as a single tone.

Advocates of this type of therapy currently recommend it for the treatment of anxiety, stress, and related disorders. These beats decrease stress and improve cognitive ability in children and help them enhance their intuitive state.

Kaleidoscope Meditation: Kaleidoscopes, colours, and sounds, according to science, are ways of accessing creativity, healing, calming, de-stressing and helps releasing endorphins and promotes positivity.

They are also used as mindfulness tools and help, many suggest, with visual thinking, problem solving, brain training, accessing the unconscious and whole brain stimulation. From psychologists to ancient spiritual traditions, colour and sound are said to alter our mental well-being and affect our mental states.

One-moment Meditation: This meditation is simple, easy, portable, and yet powerful. Just one moment of meditation can make a big difference. Ask your child to calm down for a minute, which helps bring them back gently, helping them become relaxed for a minute. One moment meditation is a guided warm-up that gets your child ‘in the zone’ quickly and powerfully. This meditation has been shown to reduce stress, boost immunity, increase happiness and mindfulness.

Stick to Natural Breathing:
Ask your child to gently and slowly inhale a normal amount of air through the nose, filling in their lower lungs. Then exhale easily.

Ask them to place one hand in their stomach and one on their chest. As your child inhales gently, the lower hand should rise while the upper hand stays still. Ask your child to continue this gentle breathing pattern with a relaxed attitude, concentrating on filling only the lower lungs. This helps reduce anxiety in children.

Hypnosis: Hypnosis helps diminishing peripheral or accentuating conditions in kids. You can make your child practice daily for 10 minutes before bedtime or early in the morning. It is a state in which your child will experience with heightened focus, mindfulness and concentration. Hypnosis will allow your child to bypass their subconscious mind and introduce them with positive thoughts and ideas into their conscious.

You can ask your child to relax on the bed, breathe slowly and evenly from the stomach and not from the chest and deep dive into remembering good things. By closing both the eyes, recalling a pleasing and a joyful image from the past, ask them to vividly experience the same by remembering the sound, smell, colour and taste of the moments. After 10 minutes ask your child to return back with a good feeling accumulated from those memories. — IANS

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